George Winston

This is a bit of a departure from my normal blog posts. No talk of criminal athletes, eminent domain takings, foodborne illness, or Indian casinos. Today I’m onto something more important than all those things – children and time. Last week I took my 10-year-old son Clancy to see pianist George Winston. Clancy is a good little piano player and George Winston is his favourite performer. We drove over two hours on a school night to reach the concert hall. And we didn’t get back home until after midnight. But in between my son and I heard ‘Thanksgiving,’ ‘Carol of the Bells,’ ‘Snowman,’ and The Peanuts classics. As a father, I got a charge looking at my son looking at George making a piano sing.

One observation I made was that my son was the youngest person in the concert hall. Similarly, when my wife and I went to see Bill Cosby a couple weeks back, we took two of our children and they were the littlest people in a sea of adults. I was thoroughly entertained. But the best part of the night was seeing my two children laugh non-stop at adult humour that was suitable for a child’s ears. Pretty rare these days. Then my 14-year old said, “Thanks, mom and dad, for taking us. This was a lot of fun.” I’ll take that from a teenager any day of the week.

I often wonder what my children will remember most about their childhood. I hope they remember that I took them with me. I’m persuaded that one of the most important things we do as parents is spend quality time with them. That includes introducing them to artists and entertainers. We have a lot of influence when we lead them to good books, good music, and good entertainment. By good I mean material that inspires and stirs the imagination, stuff that makes them laugh and sometimes even cry. One of my pals is David Crosby from Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their song ‘Teach Your Children’ says it well: “Can you hear and do you care ...teach your children what you believe in.”

What I believe is that when all is said and done, the time I invest in my children has a lot more riding on it than the time I put into the books I write.

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Jeff Benedict is the bestselling author of sixteen non-fiction books, as well as a television and film producer. His latest book, The Dynasty, is the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots under Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, each of whom cooperated for the book. Published in 2020, it was an instant New York Times bestseller. The book is being developed into a 10-part documentary series, which Jeff is executive producing. In 2018, Jeff co-wrote the #1 bestseller Tiger Woods and he was an executive producer on the HBO documentary “Tiger” that was based on the book and aired in 2021. The book is currently being developed into a scripted series, which Jeff is executive producing. Jeff is also the executive producer on a documentary based on his book Poisoned that will air on Netflix. In 2017, he co-produced “Little Pink House,” a feature film starring Catherine Keener and Jeanne Tripplehorn that was based on Jeff’s book of the same title. And in 2016, Jeff co-wrote with Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young his bestselling autobiography QB, which was the basis of an NFL Films documentary. Jeff has been a special-features writer for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, and the Hartford Courant, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times. His stories have been the basis of segments on 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, HBO Real Sports, Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, 20/20, 48 Hours, NFL Network, and NPR.

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