Being a 20-something woman with a career that takes me all over the country to horse shows really is all it’s cracked up to be. I manage to find some of the most unique opportunities on the road – you know, those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make all my college friends jealous. Each of these special moments teaches me something new, and my recent trip to The Augusta Futurity has shown me just how small this world really is.
I planned to return to Fort Worth, Texas, and write about how incredible it was to watch first-time cutting spectators light up at the sight of horses and cows playing their cat-and-mouse game… but I was in for a surprise!
The subject of my blog was a riveting lady I had the pleasure of meeting through a colleague. She introduced herself as Sharon Jones, and my coworker told me she was to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman. Sharon’s face lit up as she recanted her first-ever visit to a cutting show, and I marveled at the universal language that comes from people’s innate love of horses.
As a naturally inquisitive journalist, I asked my friend for a few details. He told me that she was Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, a soul group that stays true to its heritage. I smiled and nodded as our conversation turned to James Brown, the Godfather of Soul and the namesake of The Augusta Futurity’s home arena. Regardless, Sharon’s contagious enthusiasm for a sport she knew nothing about stuck with me. I was inspired.
Since music is another of the universal languages I appreciate, I decided to pull Sharon and her crew up on YouTube when I got home. As I scrolled through her album covers, I stopped on an image that was more than just familiar – it was an image I had seen 100 times (or more) when listening to my music on my phone!
Nearly a year ago, I had stopped by Starbucks for a double-blended mocha Frappuccino and a few minutes of free Wi-Fi. As someone who can never turn down anything free, I also grabbed a “Pick of the Week” card, which features a free iTunes song download. I had never realized it before, but that song was “Better Things,” a single on Sharon’s 2010 album “I Learned the Hard Way.”
What are the chances? I was face-to-face with who I would probably consider my favorite soul artist, and I didn’t even realize it! Although I may have missed every fan’s dream photo opportunity this time, I’m counting on the allure of cutting to bring her back next year.