Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Influences: Garin Veris

When you come from a small town, dreams are about all you have. Many of my friends and the people that I have met and come to know like the small town and the small town way of life. They are content right where they are. The thing about Chillicothe, my hometown, is that when you graduate, it’s usually find a job, get married, have kids, retire, die.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

It’s a blue collar town filled with blue collar folks where blue jeans and tee shirts rule. But there are plenty of activities to enjoy, and each day runs into the next. In Chillicothe, it’s all about the simple life. For the most part, the people who live there enjoy that simple life. They work hard and don’t ask for nothing. It’s a hard working town.

Every now and then, one of us Chillicothians will go on and do something amazing. That is the case of Mr. Garin Veris. I have had the pleasure of meeting Garin, but you didn’t have to meet him or know him to know of him. The Garin I remember was kind, gentle and always wore a smile. He was positive and upbeat, always willing to help others when he could. And while our meeting was fleeting, he left an impact on me that I have yet to shake off to this day. That impact was the footprint of accomplishment.

Garin Veris led by example. On and off the football field. He led the way when it came to chasing your dreams and goals in life. He played on the same football field that I played on. It was through him that I knew, even in high school, that one day, I too could accomplish the things that I wanted to accomplish. Of course, for me, it was writing. For him, it was a path that would lead him all the way to the NFL.

He was born on Feb. 27th, 1963 in Chillicothe, Ohio. He played defensive end for the NFL team, New England Patriots. A 2nd round pick in 1985 out of Stanford university and a graduate of Chillicothe High School where he starred in football (playing offense and defense) and in basketball in 1981.

In his rookie season with the New England Patriots, he recorded 14 sacks, including four in the playoffs, and started for New England in Super Bowl XX. He ended his career in the NFL with the San Francisco 49’ers in 1992. He was later named to the Patriots all-80’s team.

On July 14th, 2011, Garin Veris Accepted the Athletic Director Position At his Alma Mater, Chillicothe High School in Chillicothe, Ohio. He will also serve as the at-risk student coordinator, a new position, at Chillicothe High School, helping mostly high school juniors and seniors who are in danger of not graduating.

He continues to do today what he always did, help others. His influence on me was that of reaching out, giving back, and helping me to understand that you can do anything you put your mind to. That just because you come from a small town, doesn’t mean you always have to dream small. And that no matter how big your dreams are, if you have the drive and ambition and willingness to sacrifice, you can accomplish anything you desire.

I have met some famous people in my life and know many people who are in the spotlight or have tasted the spotlight. Through my travels, I have met many who left a lasting impression. None left more of an impression on me than Garin did. Maybe it was because he is a Chillicothe boy too, just like me. Impressions are longer lasting when you can relate to someone in a more personal way. It’s kind of like, “If he can do it, so can I.” mentality. And he did do it. And so am I doing it today. I am living my dream. I am writing songs. I am writing books. I have climbed over my mountain of doubt and came down the other side with hardly a scratch. (Just some bumps and bruises.)

But sometimes I wonder - would I have been able to do it had it not been for Garin? During my moments of self doubt, I would think about him and ask myself, “What would Garin think if he knew I was thinking about giving it up?” Of course, the answer was easy, he wouldn’t think highly of that at all. Not one bit. And while through the years, I battled within myself - I think somewhere deep down inside I knew that one day, I would write those books. I would write those songs. I would accomplish my dreams. My goals.

And hey, here is the kicker …. You can accomplish yours too!

It isn’t about the money. It isn’t about the fame. It’s about doing what you know you were born to do.


  1. You know Garin Veris? That is so cool! I am a huge Patriots fan. I remember Super Bowl XX. He was the one that caused the first fumble down near the goal line early in the game against Walter Payton. I thought for sure they were going to win that game.

  2. Yes, I know Garin.

    Actually, the way he and I met is kind of funny. He broke up a scuffle between me and another guy. Now, you have to know that I am six foot three inches tall. I weighed about 190 pounds at the time, and Garin picked me up and carried me about fifteen feet like I was a suitcase or something. LOL That's how big and strong he is.

    Anyhow, he was able to calm me down and everything was cool. He knew of me and I knew of him (obviously) being that Chillicothe isn't that big. I mean, it;s grown leaps and bounds since then, but it still carries that small town flavor.

    And truthfully, Garin is a great guy. You would be surprised by how many famous or well known people have come from Chillicothe or passed through or have roots there. I will be featuring them in the upcoming months too. One of those being John Mellencamp. Meeting him and hanging out for a spell was quite an eye-opener for me. He was amazingly awsome. Especially when you consider that when he was young, he was a loose cannon. LOL A real wild child if ever there was one. Ha-ha.

    Prior to 1980, the biggest thrill in Chillicothe was that Elvis mentioned it in one of his movies. (Viva Las Vegas) Co-starring Ann margaret. Ann Margaret's character was from Chillicothe.

    No offense, but how did you get to post a comment as an ANON? I thought I had that disabled? *shrugs shoulders* Oh well.

  3. I played flag football with Garin and went to high school with him as well. I think your not stressing 1 aspect about Garin that makes him a special person and that is that he wasn't just a good football player it's the fact that he's a good person. Garin never forgot anyone and was never to good to not go out of his way to shake your hand with a smile and ask how have you been? no matter his fame or fortune he truly cares about others and shows it .I will never forget our talks and the time I spent with and around Garin Veris btw feb 27 is his birthday so happy birthday garin and I wish you many more your's truly Randy DeTillian

    1. You are correct and thanks for the reminder. Garin was / is indeed a guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He always wore a smile and looked on the brighter side of things.

      I think he took on a job with Chillicothe High School. Imagine all the young minds he can mentor.

      Thanks for the comment.


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