Jumpin’ Jack Bootstraps

Alex - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in determination. I believe in hard work. I believe in antiques. I believe in music.

Growing up in Wichita, Kansas, there hasn’t been much to do. No shining sea, no sunny beaches, no majestic mountains, no skyscrapers. But I don’t need the lights of New York City, or the beach babes of California to have a good time. No, because I’ve got good buddies here, and good music.

I’ve been raised an only child, by a single mother who has never had the money to buy her own house, or fancy cars. She has never had the time for a college degree, but she has always found the time for me. My Mother has been an antiques dealer, traveling the country from one flea market to another, taking me with her. I learned early on that through hard work and determination, one could make an honest, decent living. Things were going pretty well for my Mother and her antiques business, then came 9/11. The economy flopped immediately after the twin towers fell, and suddenly people were not buying antiques anymore.

But that did not stop my Mother. Somehow she always found a way to pay the rent, put food on the table, and put presents under the tree when the Holidays came around. The job market here in Wichita is very limited if you do not have a college degree, as my Mom soon found out. But she was able to snag a part time accounting position with the Junior League of Wichita. Managing her antiques business on top of her accounting position was difficult, as she would work weekdays and weekends. This did not leave her much time for anything else, but she always found the time to take me to school, pick me up, cook dinner, and watch a movie before falling asleep on the couch.

I think this is where my desire for success originates. From my Mother I have learned to persevere, to take what life gives me and turn it into something better. As a student of the International Baccalaureate Programme at Wichita East High, the sense of determination and hard work my Mother has instilled in me play a big role in my education, and my music.

I started playing Guitar about a year and a half ago. Since then I’ve written many songs, and made many friends. Now, I’ve never had the money for midi keyboards, microphones or Fender amps, but that doesn’t matter. No, because I have something much more valuable than all of those things combined. I’ve got the will to succeed, I’ve got friends to jam with, and I’ve got a story to tell. This I believe.