In my generation, Waynedale produced some pretty accomplished people. I have always thought that this depth of purpose and determination is somehow ingrained in Waynedale people. I wouldn’t be able to explain why, but I would run out of time before I ran out of examples.
Today, I want to talk about two of Waynedale’s finest. They are young. You have most likely never heard of them until today. But I hope you will find pride in knowing that Waynedale didn’t stop producing people of achievement and dedication just because a few years passed and new generations sprang up.
Let me tell you about two extraordinary accomplished youths who call Waynedale their home. I am so proud of these boys and I think you will be, too. They have followed a path that was unknown in the 50’s. They may seem to have heard a different drummer to whom we do not relate. But, put that aside, as I tell you of Clayton (CJ) and Jordan Stark.
Their father, Clay, works at Harlo Enterprises, and their mother works at the Waynedale Hair Salon. They are exemplary parents for the reason that they gave of themselves to their children. Clay (father) rode a bike from the time he was quite young.‑He was not satisfied until he could ride that bike like the pros and was able to do ramps, jumps and spins that were only seen in professional riders, although he never turned pro, himself, as he had a family to raise. He gave his sons not money, not gifts, not promises of Harvard, no, he gave them the gift of himself. He taught them his talents.‑He taught them to ride. What is a father?‑Does he just provide for his family, and swat bottoms when they are naughty?‑Or…perhaps we can look at a father who gave himself to his sons. He taught them to ride. Ride like the wind. Take risks; accomplish what others cannot accomplish. Daring, stunning, unbelievable.‑Thus, his sons, CJ and Jordan became bike riders who began to ride and compete at very tender ages. CJ was about 10 years old when Clay decided to teach him the skills he had, himself, acquired, and both CJ and Clay taught the youngest, Jordan, to ride beginning at age 6. Don’t think some of us didn’t collectively shudder at what Jordan was daring to do. He was like lightning. He had verve, and a devil-be-damned attitude of such daring and skill that people could only stare and wonder at this boy- child.
Both boys recently took part in a competition in Columbus, Ohio, at the Flow Skate Park. It was a world-class competition. If you have not been to a skate park, perhaps you could take the time to go and observe what these kids can do.
CJ took first place and Jordan took second. What an accomplishment! Over a hundred competitors were registered and did their best, yet paled in comparison to these boys. To the best of our knowledge, Jordan is the youngest kid in the world to do the daring black flip. In a conversation with his brother, CJ, Jordan learned about 2 months ago to do this back flip. It is not for the faint-hearted. CJ describes Jordan at the moment of the decision to go for it. He sat for almost 10 minutes at the top of a ramp steeling himself for a do-or-die jump. Such things are not without peril. Jordan knew the dangers. He faced the most challenging move of his young career. Did the words and teachings of Brian Osbourne and Chris Gerber stand at the front of his mind, their words and teachings giving him the encouragement and valor to “go for it”? Jordan sat on his bike. All eyes were upon him. Would he do it? Would he actually take on that ramp, gain speed, and when he hit the right place that was preordained, make that flip? No one knew. Jordan didn’t know. The breathless crowd didn’t know. Chris Gerber didn’t know. Chris, who has faced the same perils, and has made a name for himself in the X-Games, waited to see if his student could gather the internal fortitude to actually do it. Suddenly Jordan let go with his bike, roared down the ramp, gained the speed he needed and did the back flip. The crowd broke into a cheer of disbelief. Jordan did what no other 9 year old has ever done. He did what no other child has ever done.‑He was in awe when approached by Duffs, and Dan’s Comp and given a sponsorship. What a privilege and honor to receive a sponsorship at such a young age.
Both boys are headed for the X-games. For those of us who were brought up in the 50’s and 60’s, this is all quite foreign to us, but rest assured, these boys are the pride of Waynedale.
In speaking with CJ, tonight by phone, he told me that Jordan wants to make sure that credit goes to Chris Gerber who stuck with him and taught him to perform and to have the courage to do what seemed impossible, and to be sure to thank Brian Osbourne. He also wants to thank White Snakes for his assistance who championed him to victory.
CJ took first place, and yet, he is proud of his brother, who took second place. In all that Jordan is, CJ is his biggest cheerleader. We are so proud of both of them. You will one day see both of them on commercials and you may hear of them as they continue their road to greatness. Waynedale keeps cranking them out, generation after generation.
The Stark boys will do us proud as all the kids before them who sprang up from the little town of Waynedale. God’s face shines upon Waynedale. It always has.
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