Letters at Length

Guitarist 'destined for big things'

Last Thursday, Ashland resident and SOU music major in guitar and composition Tye Austin played a preview performance of his Carnegie Hall debut. He showed us what inner passion, clear vision and disciplined action can accomplish.

When I introduced Tye, I shared two insights from research that help to explain how he came to play at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, March 3, after winning first prize in the American Protégé International Piano & Strings Competition 2013.

Passion plus vision plus disciplined action

Olympian Marilyn King won Gold in track and field in the 1976 Olympics. King was gearing up for the 1980 Olympic Games when she was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer while in Canada training for the games. She turned her attention, focus and energies from physical training to the emerging field of sports performance.

King now distills her 30-year review of human achievement down to three essential ingredients: passion, vision and disciplined action. She says passion is the heart of human achievement. Without it, the spirit withers and the body eventually falters.

The 10,000-hour rule

The other perspective comes from Malcolm Gladwell. His "Outliers" identifies the "10,000-hour rule" as decisive in great human achievement. All other things being equal, it's the people who clock 10,000 hours who transform their talent into a highly honed skill and make it to the top echelon in every field.

Tye Austin is obsessed with music. His discovery of classical guitar at age 16 sparked a real inner fire that burns undiminished. His practice and performance hours likely well exceed 10,000. In him, inner passion, clear vision, and highly disciplined action are shaping a musical gift into superb art.

Thank you to KOBI 5 for the lovely feature story, and to the insightful Ashland Daily Tidings article by John Darling. Thanks to the community members who gave Tye a deeply appreciative and warm send-off to New York City. As Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings editor Bob Hunter observed, "He's destined for big things."

Daniel Murphy


A barber's view of the road diet

Unlike a recent Road Diet survey I read where it said that 50 percent enjoy the new single lane and 50 percent don't like it, in a modern barber shop unofficial road diet survey, we've noticed that approximately 70 percent do not like it, 5 percent do, and 25 percent are undecided, don't care, don't have to use it, seldom use it, or don't think that it matters if it takes longer to get to or out of Ashland. We realize that most of those voicing their opinions are vocal about their opposition to it whereas the folks that don't use it or actually enjoy it are quiet unless asked.

One hundred percent of the bicycle riders we hear from really like it, as do the garbage/recycle truck drivers, and on the other side many folks have said, "wait until summertime if you think it's bad now." We believe and hope that we've already seen the worst. It was Tuesday morning, Feb. 19, when we experienced a brief, but hard and wet snowfall around 7 a.m. Between the morning hours of 8 and 8:30 when we barbers did our commute to Ashland, Highway 99 looked like a parking lot! The traffic was backed up all the way to the Talent side of the traffic light near the car lots and the I-5 off ramp was also clogged. An alternate route may have been Oak Street if we enjoy driving over speed bumps. I don't. I prefer smooth roads. Those bumps on Oak Street really should be removed so that we do have a choice of how to get into and out of town on the north side of Ashland. An occasional radar trap could enforce the speed limit on Oak Street and would bring added revenue to the City from those possible law breakers.

On another note, I like the buttons that pedestrians are able to push to activate the amber flashing lights in the crosswalks in front of Southern Oregon University. Why not be consistent and also have the crosswalk in front of the high school be pedestrian activated? It doesn't make sense to have those amber lights flashing 24 hours a day, where a driver never knows if there is a pedestrian in that crosswalk, especially during those dark wet winter nights. I hope we can alleviate these problems, be consistent, and have smooth roads and traffic.

Glenn Miller


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