Jul/Aug 2005 Salon

What I Wish John Kerry Would Say to the American People

by Tom Dooley

The following are the author's opinions and do not reflect the views of anybody else associated with this publication. In fact, it's a total coincidence if anyone else in the world feels this way.

Okay, dammit. I'm working on the speech. It's turning out to be a difficult thing to write. I don't envy John Kerry, or his speechwriters. They're in a tough spot.

But in the meantime, here's something I'm thinking about tonight. I was playing David Ball's debut country album from 1994, Thinkin' Problem. God, is that a title track with which I feel I can relate. But anyway, there's a song, "When the Thought of You Catches up with Me," that I think is a pretty cool song. And I'm listening to it tonight, thinking, wow, David really kicked the hell out of this song. And when he was there in the studio back in 1993 or '94, recording what I'm listening to tonight here in 2005, he must've been pretty excited. I mean, this was going to be his big break. For all he knew, he might end up being the next Randy Travis or Garth Brooks. Turns out, he wasn't even the next Hal Ketchum, but not for lack of unique vocal talent. I wonder what did, or didn't happen?

And there you go. My brother in law plays this game, where he asks, "I wonder what Powers Boothe is doing right now?" Good question, but even more curious to me, what is David Ball doing right now? I'm guessing there are maybe two-hundred people on the planet who, if asked, would recognize his name or his voice. And yet, here he is, cranking out "When the Thought" on my cd player, and it's like he's the next Randy Travis, or Garth Brooks.

The John Kerry speech will be along soon. For the maybe two to twenty people on the planet who are going to read it all the way through. I'll try my best to do them justice.


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