Notes from Newcastle

February 28, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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It’s never too late to follow your dreams

This month’s issue featured two people who stand as prime examples of the old adage that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Christina Corrales-Toy

Christina Corrales-Toy

Newcastle musician Italene Gaddis and artist Dan Meredith lived full lives before they even began pursuing their passions.

Gaddis was a homemaker and the primary breadwinner once her husband passed away, while Meredith toiled as a carpenter for several years.

After spending just an hour with each of them, I feel as though I have a whole new appreciation of what the word passion really means.

Passion is seeing Meredith’s eyes light up as he pointed out every minute detail and brush stroke that made his Regency Newcastle mural special. It’s witnessing the artist on the verge of tears as he recalls the support and praise the mural received from the facility’s residents.

Passion is watching Gaddis strum her autoharp with ease, and smiling ear to ear while doing it. It’s listening to her reflect on the lyrics of her poems, and the life that inspired them.

Both of them are extremely talented at what they do, and even though it took them a bit longer to get where they are today, it doesn’t make them any less excited about their work.

Newcastle is better for having these two contributing to the city’s artistic landscape. I would love to see Gaddis perform at an upcoming Newcastle Days or view Meredith’s artwork in other parts of the city.

I think the people of Newcastle can learn a lot from them, in seeing just how fulfilling it is to pursue one’s passion.

If I learned anything from these two, it is the idea that there really is no use in waiting to follow your dreams, but if you do, like Gaddis and Meredith did, it doesn’t make the payoff any less satisfying.


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