Maurice "Reece" Anderson's Acceptance Speech for International Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame 2006
Iím very humbled for having been chosen to be placed along side some of the masters of steel guitar who have distinguished themselves as members of the International Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame.
Iíll try to put this great privilege into what I believe to be the right perspective for me. Itís my honest opinion that my induction into the Hall Of Fame is in no way an award which I deserve. An award is something won and deserved. Iíd believe myself to be arrogant were I to feel that I deserve the honor thatís been given me today.
Neither is my induction a reward. A reward is given for service or achievement. The truth is, in my career, Iíve received far more from so many of you than Iíve given. In reality, the respect and esteem represented in this honor is the summary of broader contributions than Iíve personally made. To a much greater degree than I can say, this honor is a tribute to the many influences that have touched my life in a positive way through the years.
There are influences without which I could not, and would not, be standing here today. Itís to these inspirations upon my life that I give credit. As a result of my inspirations, I long ago dedicated my life to three basic principals: FAITH, FAMILY, and FRIENDS !
First, thereís the influence of my faith in our Heavenly Father. Musical expression and the freedom to express it is Godís gift to each of us. My faith continuously reminds me Iíve been blessed with gifts far beyond that which I deserve. So I must first acknowledge the ONE whose amazing grace has brought me to this moment in my life.
Second, there is the influence of my family. Iím tremendously indebted to my wonderful and loving parents, John and Bess, whose encouragement and support early in my life enabled me to follow my dream of a career in music playing the most beautiful instrument in the world . . . to which I have devoted most of my life.
God called my father home in 1966, but I have no doubt heís with us here today.
Iím blessed and proud to have my beautiful, loving, devoted and always caring mother here with us.
My brother Jerry always supported and encouraged me through thick and thin. No one could have a better or more loyal brother. As many of you know, Jerry is a principle in the new MSA along with Kyle Bennett, Dave Horner and myself.
Our oldest daughter Risa is here. Sheís married to Dr. Jay Bender who was unfortunately unable to be here because of his devotion and responsibility to his many patients. Risa and Jay have blessed our family with two beautiful children . . . a grandson named Duncan, and a granddaughter named Hailey. They live in Sherman, Texas. Incidentally, Risa is a professional singer.
Our other daughter Charice is also here with her husband Ronny Cooper. Charice is an artist/painter and has her own company called Infinite Artist, and sheís also a professional singer. Ronny is in the home mortgage business and Iím delighted he could be here with us. Charice and Ronny have blessed our family with two beautiful granddaughters, Chelsea and Mariah. They live in Keller, Texas.
Last, but certainly not least, there is the love of my life, my beautiful wife Teresa. Her love is without condition, her devotion is without limit, her strength and courage have never wavered, neither has her faith in God nor in me. Sheís the one from whom I gain greatest strength, stability and encouragement. She is truly the love of my life.
Third, there is the influence of friends. I must acknowledge with gratitude the many people Iím proud to call my friends . . . those in whom I confide, whose advice Iíve respected, and whose loyalty has remained constant and steady. To name them individually would be impossible. It would also be unfair, because Iíd probably overlook someone. Suffice to say, I have enjoyed a wealth of good friends to whom Iíll be forever indebted.
Finally, being true to my faith, there is an influence in my life of forgiveness. Things happen which sometimes damage our relationships . . . thatís a harsh reality. So the question is not whether disagreements and hurt will happen, the issue becomes how to rebuild and restore broken relationships . . . professional and otherwise. The key is never a judgmental or bitter attitude. The answer to any disagreement is in the exercise of forgiveness. The kind of forgiveness that is honest and gracious enough to find a way to lay aside differences for the sake of healing and restoration . . . I choose forgiveness!
Thank you for allowing me to join those who have preceded me as members of the Hall Of Fame, as well as those who will come after me. Others may be more deserving, but none could be more honored and appreciative than I.
Thank you and God bless each of you.
Reprinted by request.