As Brianna reflected on her story of Gordon Parks, she developed another idea of what sparks talent. Certainly the kind words of the clerk at the photography store inspired him. But before that, the purchase of the camera also provided a spark. Brianna wondered if talent could be sparked by objects as well as individuals. It was the story of a famous musician that helped her understand further how objects could be talent sparks.
His start in life was rough. His father couldn’t hold a job and his family was reduced to asking neighbors for help and needing government assistance. His father was sent to jail for check fraud and his family lost their home.
His mother had very little money, but wanted to buy him something for his birthday. She took him to the store, and he wanted either a bicycle or gun. She couldn’t afford either. She ended up buying him a used guitar for $7.49.
His uncles taught him how to play the guitar, but he was largely self-taught. At school he was a loner and the guitar became his lunchtime companion. The other kids made fun of him.
Looking back, his mother’s purchase of that $7.49 guitar was a talent discovery moment for Elvis Presley.
Brianna was intrigued by the stories of both Gordon Parks and Elvis Presley. Both of them used objects to discover and develop their talents. In both cases, the objects came into their lives by fate, not by some plan. Was that significant? Undoubtedly there were many others who had objects enter into their lives that led to no connection for their future talent. Why was that? Brianna couldn’t wait to explore these questions with Henry.
* * *
“Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.”
– Mary Kay