The below comments are from an interview that I (Joe Tenney) had with the East Valley Republic newpaper
3. Where did the idea to use pictures of Skylar come from?
Two years ago our trio performed in a benefit concert for a young lady that died of cancer. Her name was Charlee Hawkins—a sweet girl nick-named “Nine”—due to losing a finger from the cancer that eventually took her life. The school administration came to her home to award her the high school diploma that she wanted to earn despite her cancer and pain. She passed away 45 minutes after they awarded her diploma. Charlee was a person who made a great impact on many people.
About a year and a half ago, I came across a terrible accident (a roll over) of a young woman, who I discovered, at the scene, was the daughter of one of my best friends, a buddy that I have known since 6th grade. Her name was Azure Starkes. I performed CPR on her, but to no avail. However, my son-in-law was able to rescue her little one year old boy, still strapped upside down in the smashed car. It was a heart breaking experience for Azure, but a miracle for little Eric who was saved. It has been an experience that has bonded our family, as close as any could be, to our dear friends Keith and Donna Bigler (her parents), and Azure’s husband, Brian Starkes.
Then this December, the fluke accident happened that took Skylar Stock’s life. Our family had known him since he was a little boy. We all belonged to the same church as their family and have been good friends with Dennis and Cheryl Stock for over 20 years.
4. Is there a specific song that you guys will be singing when the pictures of Skylar are shown?
The song we are singing is a remake of the “Diamond Rio” song: “One More Day.” The DVD was shot by Cameron Trejo of East Valley Productions, and Cameron Trejo Films.
5. Did you know Skylar personally? If so, what was he like?
Skylar was the consummate optimist; an individual who was a hard worker and excelled with honors in his profession. He was a dedicated and loving father, and a friend to all he knew. So many comments from co-workers and friends are all the same…that he was a terrific person, always positive and always encouraged and helped all around him. He excelled in everything he did. It is tragic that he has left a beautiful wife and three little children. But his memory, and the effect of his life on so many people, even many that have never met him, will remain. Our biggest and best memories of him are as a little boy that was full of life and always smiling!
6. What inspired you/your group to focus some attention on Skylar?
When these types of experiences happen, sometimes there is nothing you can do, but just to let people know that you love them and are there to help and support them any way you can. When Skylar’s accident happened, for me it was a kind of “final straw.” We knew that we HAD to do this video. It is only a simple thing, but hopefully we can let people know in some small way, how our lives have been affected by these great people, and their families that we love dearly. And to try and honor them for their wonderful lives, examples, and to repay them in some small way for the friendship they have given us.
7. What, if any, message would you like to portray to the audience at this concert? I know the name of the concert gives people some idea, but I just want to get more of an answer :)
Life is all about friends, family and helping our fellow man. If our society will learn that as a whole, think of the kind of place it could be for all of us! All of us will experience trials and struggles in our lives, and how sad and terrible if we have to “go it alone.” But how sweet and good, even beyond words, when we have friends….those who truly love us….to help us along the way. To quote a line from one of our songs: “I’ll take your part…oh when times get rough. And friends just can’t be found…like a bridge over troubled water…I will lay me down.” (“Bridge Over Troubled Water”, Paul Simon music.)
8. What is your favorite thing about doing concerts like this (with an inspirational message)?
Without any doubt, my favorite thing is the “feeling” I get from the audience! Many of these people are friends, fans, and supporters over the years. If you were to take a “sample” of any of them you would find people with varying trials, struggles, challenges, and opposition in their lives. But you will find these same people with talents and a qualities and good things that they are doing for society as well. The best feeling is to have everyone leaving feeling that they have benefited by being there. To have them motivated to do good in this world, and to feel their personalities and hearts lifted in a positive and lasting way!
9. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes! Life is precious! It is fragile and can be taken from us in a minute. We need to live to help others and to get out of ourselves. To make a difference for good…we need to “be the difference!” We should never hesitate to tell someone hat we love how much they mean to us.