Growing up as a farm kid in Onawa, IA, Norman learned to appreciate the simple things in life—like homemade ice cream, family dinners, church, and good music. In fact, not only does Norman appreciate music, Norman has a knack for singing. Norman’s musical talent led to many great experiences—performing in musical productions and choir competitions in high school to later joining a church choir. Despite his simple tastes, Norman, had a BIG dream at the top of his bucket list: to attend a show at the Grand Ole Opry! Norman’s daughter, Julie, nominated Norman to receive a Dream. Julie knew that her hard-working dad has never had the means or made the time to prioritize himself, and she knew Dreamweaver would be able to turn her dad’s pie-in-the-sky dream into a reality.
Norman and his wife Bobbie are the type of people who when you first meet them you, you just have that feeling that you have known them forever. Their warmth and faith transcend the circumstances of Norman’s dyer diagnoses, and they made us feel at home in their apartment for Norman’s dream interview. They told us about how they met, at Bobbie’s sister’s wedding where she was the maid of honor and he was the best man, how they rushed after work to cheer on their kids’ sports and activities, and how they have adjusted to retirement due to Norman’s declining health. Norman told us about his old hobby of singing, and he beamed with pride telling us about how his son had gone on to sing for Highest Praise Christian College. When we told Norman that Julie had told us that his Dream was to go to a show at the Grand Ole Opry, he lit up for a second before telling us that he would be happy with something closer to home and less “big”. When we told him that our job is to encourage people to Dream big, he smiled, sighed, and agreed to go along for the ride with his big Dream!
Dreamweaver Foundation set Norman and Bobbie up at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center so that they would be right across the street from his dream concert venue. Norman and Bobbie were thrilled that daughter Julie and her husband Doug, and their dear friends, John and Kim planned their vacations around their Nashville Dream, and they enjoyed their company as they took in the sights and sounds of the Country Music Capital of the World. Norman loves Christian music, and it’s no surprise that he chose to attend a “Casting Crowns” concert at the Grand Ole Opry. Dreamweaver Foundation helped Norman get up close and personal with the band during a question-and-answer session before the show. We also helped Norman and his group get up close and personal with the famous theater during a private behind the scenes tour. The group also enjoyed taking in the sights and sounds of downtown Nashville, making a top at Tootsies to enjoy a drink and some live music, and gourmet meal at The White Limozeen, Dolly Parton’s rooftop bar and grill.
If you ask Norman, he’ll tell you that the concert or the behind-the-scenes tour were the highlights of the trip—but if you ask Bobbie, she’ll say that the best part was seeing Norman smile (and never stop smiling!) for three days straight! The trip was a chance to leave their troubles, behind for a few days, and to enjoy some fun with their family and friends, and it was a Dream come true for a farm kid from Iowa with a bucket list.
Dreamweaver Foundation would like to thank our friends at Corporate Travel Management and VIP Limo, and the wonderful staff Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, The Grand Ole Opry, and The White Limozeen for their help with fulfilling Norman’s wildest dream!