Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Friday, June 28, 2013


I went to a very conservative, strict Christian college called Grove City College.  The college experience there differs from what most people envision when they think college.  Among many differences (lots of rules including very limited times that males can be in female dorms or vice versa and when there is "intervisitation" the rule is "feet on the floor, shoe in the door".  I once got in trouble for sitting on a bed beside the person I was dating with my legs pulled up and crossed under me).  We also had to attend chapel 16 times each semester.  Back then every semester we were given 16 cards printed on oaktag that we ripped off and turned in whenever we attended.  There were 2 mornings with 20 or 30 minute services and Sunday night services.  I worked in the cafeteria and generally worked one of the 2 week mornings so I went to the Sunday night services more often.  However I still had to attend some morning services and my senior year I went to one that was a musical performance by a duo called "Not by Chance".  (There is a slight chance I saw them perform on campus, not in chapel but I don't remember).

Not by Chance was a band with strong ties to Grove City.  One of the singers, david m bailey, (lowercase his) was an alumni about 10 years ahead of me.  I can't remember if the other singer was a GCC grad as well although I think not.  david had graduated from GCC and moved on to corporate work.  In 1996 he was diagnosed with a cancer that strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who is familiar with it:  glioblastoma multiforme stage IV.  If you remember ER this was what Anthony Edwards' character died from.  It is an extremely aggressive tumor and diagnosis usually is about 6 months before death.  In all the years I worked in healthcare I had precisely 1 patient who did not die shortly after diagnosis (and I only remember a few with it) and the last year of her life (3 years after diagnosis) was pretty awful.  In fact that patient sticks with me because I cried after my last assessment of her because she was frantic that I fix her suddenly non-functional arm and all I could say was that she needed to see the neurologist first.  She knew and I knew that I was saying that it was tumor progression and it was.  I had plenty of experience with tough news by then by this was heart-breaking; she wanted to live so badly.

Ok,so back on track...alumni, nasty cancer.  Incredible music.  I had a tape of his music but haven't had a place to play a tape for many years.  In my last months of college and in grad school I listened to this tape hundreds of times.  His music was/is striking because of the simplicity of his message of hope and his desire to uplift the spirits of any listener. 

I had many years when music was too much to handle.  Last year when I finally discovered that music in certain genres is manageable I remembered that beloved tape.  I had some trouble because Not by Chance dissolved around the time I saw them and david went on performing on his own.  Recently I took the time to remember the name and find him.  I knew that he had died; I remembered this from an alumni magazine.

It turns out that he lived 14 years from diagnosis and released 23 CDs. He toured  until just a few months before his death and lived 2 years after a recurrence that eventually took his life.  He truly had a miracle and was able to see his children grow to young adulthood among many other things.

Usually if I write about music I suggest a song.  In this case I'm going to suggest going to his webpage at
http://blog.davidmbailey.com/?section=calendar-past and listening to the songs at the top of the page and also checking out his music and lyrics section.  He simply has too many songs for me to sort through and choose anything in particular.  I am anxious to buy some more of his music eventually.

I find such strength in what he says and in his wonderful voice and acoustic guitar.  I also LOVE knowing that he started an underground newspaper at GCC;  that would not be condoned.  When I was there a group of us had a support group of sexual abuse survivors and that wound up causing major trouble so you can imagine what something actually against the rules would do.  

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