What's New?
Search This Site

Follow me on Twitter @jamieford and on Instagram jamiefordofficial

Entries in great falls (2)


Congrats to the Class of 2015. Now please, get off my lawn

School superintendent, Tammy Yaeger Lacey, warms up the crowd in a sweltering gym.

Last Friday I had the surreal pleasure of giving the commencement address at Great Falls High (where my wife, Leesha, went to high school).

Not wanting to give a normal speech, I decided to crowdsource all of my advice from Facebook and Twitter—creating a Top-10 list. It went over fairly well. And by fairly well, I think people momentarily forgot that it was 165° in the gymnasium. Or maybe the heat added a factor of delirium, thus making my speech more tolerable.

Speaking of speeches, folks have asked for a full transcript. Unfortunately, I don't write these things down, I kind of dance upon talking points as I speak. But, I do have the Top-10 list, so here 'tis with my commentary as delivered.

Top 10-Bits of Advice Crowdsourced from Social Media

  1. When in doubt. Be kind. (Phhh, that’s kind of lame).
  2. Be yourself but always assume that someone is recording you with an iPhone.
  3. Remind them that just because they've graduated from high school that does not mean they are extra special. Actually, just the opposite. (Congratulations, you just accomplished something that everyone in this room has accomplished, so yay us!)
  4. Please get a job. Any job. Because your parents are broke. (This one actually mentioned a name that I won’t share because I don’t want to embarrass anyone…especially you, Taylor).
  5. For the love of God, don't rely on spell check to get you thorough life. (That quote was actually misspelled).
  6. Enjoy your metabolism while you can.
  7. Get off our lawns!
  8. Christopher Walken was right, the world needs more cowbell.
  9. You won't remember this speech; you just want to get to the all-night grad party. (Be safe).
  10. According to Google, a middle class family spends roughly $240,000 to raise a child to the age of 18. If we assume a modest 8% return on investment, then these kids owe their parents approx. $259,000 dollars. I'm sure their parents will let them pay it off over 20 years. By the way your first payment of $1080.00 is due on July 5th (my math might be a little off). Good luck.

The crowd cheered for the metabolism one and especially the last one. Also, I had a cowbell and a drumstick hidden at the podium which came in handy for number eight.

A huge THANK YOU to: Jaye Wells, Rey Waltz, Briana Wipf, Jeffrey Henkin, Maryke VanBeuzekom, A. Cheryl Curtis, Jennifer Dues Bruggeman, Dee Dolores Leh, Helen Dowdell, and Lorna M. Fong. 


Barnes & Noble: Great Falls, MT

Hooray for hometown events! It was such a pleasure to do a book gig less than a mile from my doorstep. No suitcases. No airport security. And I got to sleep in my own bed with my own wife (wait, that didn't sound quite right).Plus more than a 150 people showed up and B&N nearly sold out the 170 books they had ordered.

But without a doubt, the heart smashingly-best thing of all was the appearance of a woman named Margaret who drove 127 miles from Browning, Montana, to attend the event. She waited patiently in line and then said, "Hi, I grew up in the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Seattle."

Margaret's local librarian knew her personal backstory, called her up and said, "You have to read this." (Go librarians!) So she drove for two hours on a very rainy night to share her own experiences of growing up as an orphan in Seattle. Margaret's story was...amazing. She should write a book. I'd buy it.