Crystal Bowersox: Up to the mountainWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
“Sometimes I feel like
I’ve never been nothing but tired
And I’ll be walking
Till the day I expire
Sometimes I lay down
No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you ask me to”
— Patti Griffin, “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)
Congratulations to Elliston native Crystal Bowersox. Her “American Idol” journey brought immeasurable positive attention to Northwest Ohio and she is only getting started.
Watching Bowersox perform on the May 25 finale in competition with Chicago-area singer Lee DeWyze was like seeing every good characteristic about the Toledo area on display. The determination. The refusal to surrender or bow. The raw, organic talent that rises from the guts and commands attention without ever crossing into braggadocio. The disinterest in compromising.
Through “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Black Velvet” and the soaring, aching triumph of “Up to the Mountain,” Bowersox made the most of her shot at the title and proved beyond question she deserved the international spotlight “American Idol” has provided during the first half of 2010.
One of the most exciting elements of Bowersox’s future is her opportunity to be an ambassador for her home region. While there is obviously no contractual obligation to spread the word about Northwest Ohio, Bowersox will surely see the opportunity and, I hope, will make the most of it. While Jamie Farr remains the most famous and accomplished Toledo ambassador, Bowersox has a chance to represent the area to a new generation of fans and keep the hometown flame burning as Farr has.
While some comments on our website, Twitter and Facebook pages are starting to indicate “Crystal Fatigue” due to nonstop media coverage — and while I understand the argument that there are more pressing financial and governmental issues to cover (back to those next week) — there is no hyperbole in saying that on the national stage, Bowersox’s journey is the biggest Toledo story we are likely to see. Our recent run of national attention, save for alternative energy stories, has not been flattering. Our dreadlocked, humble, smiling single mom is a conduit to many things the nation has forgotten or has not yet discovered about us as a people.
You’ve only just begun.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.