Early summer thoughts

It’s the little things I’m going to miss about Michigan. The way the soft, thin blades of grass feel on the the bottom of my feet in the summer. The smell of petrichor while I’m sitting on the porch of my parents’ house sipping a hot cup of coffee waiting for a storm to blow in. The cool summer nights spent laying in a field in the middle of nowhere, staring at the stars as the world slowly drifts by them.

I’m one step closer to getting my degree. One step closer to moving away from the state that I’ve called home for 23 years. One step closer to becoming an adult in the world. It’s terrifying, but it’s also thrilling.

I’m hoping to move to Austin in six months. It seems like a long time from now, but that’s the same time period that I was with the Jackson Citizen Patriot. It’s a semester and some.

I’ve pushed and pushed to get to where I am now. I’ve been so focused on getting out of college and getting my degree that I haven’t fully appreciated what’s surrounding me for the last few months.

Yes, Michigan is a wonderful place. The natural beauty of it is incredible. I’m grateful to have grown up surrounded by four seasons.

However, my immediate future is not in that state. I’m not 100 percent certain of what the future may hold, but I know that I’m meant for bigger things.

Until I leave, I’m going to appreciate the little things. The summer nights spent eating Doozies with friends. The sand between my toes while I walk along the beach at Lake Michigan. The evenings with my family, no matter how strange they are.

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I don’t want to let you down

Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers at South By Southwest


AUSTIN, TX – Joe Hertler stood alone on a small coffee house stage with a harmonica strapped around his neck, the Michigan flag draped over his shoulders and an acoustic guitar slung across his body.

In 2009, Hertler was playing solo shows at nearly empty bars for little to no money.

Almost six years later, Hertler and his Lansing-based band, Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers, have a record contract. They have spent the last two months touring the country, fulfilling a dream most local bands only hope to achieve.

Read more on MLive.com.

(This article originally appeared online for MLive.com as SXSW coverage of the band. I’m turning it in for homework.)