Stuff I Did in the '80s
Yakety Sax
Yakety Sax

What do Wham’s Careless Whisper, Sade’s Smooth Operator, Hall & Oates Maneater or half of Men at Work’s songbook have in common? The sultry sweet sounds of a saxophone. Because every song on the radio during the ’80s had an obligatory sax solo, I wanted to be a sax man.

I started playing the alto sax in our middle school band. By high school I was in the marching band, which involved stomping around outside under the oppressive Florida sun, dressed in a heavy polyester uniform and honking out the notes to Toto’s Africa. I soon realized this wasn’t the path to playing backup for Huey Lewis and the News but it didn’t matter—my playing sounded less like a soul man and more like a goose having its soul ripped from its body. I quit marching band in my sophomore year and filled my schedule with art classes.

Instead of trying to play their songs, I drew caricatures of Huey Lewis, Hall & Oates, Sade and Wham.

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Introduction Half a Boombox I’m Not a Member I was Simon Le Bon (For Fifteen Minutes) Motown 25 Watch Whatever, Whenever Snowblind You’re the One That I Want Call Me Your Kiss is on My List Electric Boogaloo Dear Daryl Hall and John Oates Where Shopping is a Pleasure Dialect of a Decade I’m Alright The Sunshine State Shazam! It’s Just a Fantasy I’ve Got a Secret Sunday Funnies Impeachment American Top 40 License to Drive Risky (Show) Business Jumping Someone Else’s Train Yakety Sax I Want to be Elton John When I Grow Up Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Tetherball, Dodgeball & Flag Football Sk8 or Go Home Roll a Saving Throw vs. Velour Piano Man The Duckman Cometh Money for Nothing Waiting for the Bus More Than Meets the Eye The Legend Begins Whip It When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best Master Chef Muppetmania I Want to Ride My Bicycle WW III My Octopus Teacher Some Like it Hot Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs Dare to Be Stupid Keeping the Faith
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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.