“The kids in school always greet me with a smile when they see me at school. Every time they see me in the hallway, they call me, ‘Mr. Z.’ Their love is unconditional. And it makes me so happy. When I play for them, I will play them an old Arlo Guthrie song, ‘I don’t want a pickle, I just wanna ride on my motorcycle.’ And they love that song, and always ask me to play it for them. When I play for them, sometimes I’ll tell a story as I am playing the chords. They will ask me to write songs about hot dogs, or donuts, so I wrote them a song called, ‘Hot Dogs and Donuts.’ But it is not really about hot dogs and donuts. I will weave stories of unconditional love between the chorus, ‘Hot Dogs and Donuts.’ And they just love it.
“I am a believer, and what I am doing is carrying a message to these kids, to be childlike, and don’t change. The kids are untainted. They don’t know prejudice yet, they don’t know about the problems of the world yet. And when I sing to them, my songs are about that innocence. The kids ask me why I close my eyes when I sing, and I tell them, ‘Because when I close my eyes, I am every age I ever was.’ Singing to them reminds me to stay innocent and childlike just like them. I am a truly blessed man.”
~ Ocean Grove
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