My bud, Dave Burchett has written another book. I haven’t read it yet, even though he sent me an advance copy weeks ago. It’s sitting on my desk down at DTS, with the picture of his beloved Lab, Hannah (whom Dave lost to cancer), beckoning me from the cover. I don’t recommend books I haven’t read, so there you go. It’s an integrity thing.
I did read his previous opus, When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dave’s dry sense of humor and his maturity as a Christian blend to provide an incisive and humorous perspective on a prickly subject.
Still, I can’t recommend Stay! since it’s still in the “in” and not the “out” box. But I can recommend the author, and maybe that will suffice to get you to buy a few score of Stay! and give them away as gifts. Dave and Joni, his wife of a million years, are two of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, albeit at more of a distance than I would prefer due to too much busyness in all our lives.
I’ve known him since before he took his seat in the production truck and started directing TV broadcasts for the Rangers in 1983. He has let me visit him in that truck parked just outside the 3rd base entrance to the Globe on several occasions. He is a marvel to watch as he directs shots between the 13 monitors clustered in a banked array surrounding him. He’s almost as mossy as Eric Nadel, who has been calling games since 1979, though Dave has weathered the years better than a lot of us.
But as good as he is at calling the shots from the truck, he’s better at walking the talk. He and Joni have responded to severe adversity (particularly, the passing of their fourth child, sweet Katie back in the late 80’s) with extraordinary grace and a resiliency that they found through their deep relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Of course none of that – his professionalism in the broadcast truck, or his character as a man of faith – qualify him as a writer. But they do inform his perspective on life. At the very least, they provide a context for commentary that would be worthy of our consideration.
So, no, I can’t recommend Stay! – yet. But my guess is, Stay! is going to provide yet another example of the kind of quality that I’ve seen in Dave’s life and work – and that it will mirror the kind of fine writing I witnessed in WBCHTGP. One of these fine days, I’ll sit down and devour Stay! Then, if I’m in the mood, and the Rangers are winning, and I’m not too hungry – I might recommend it. I understand it’s also available on Audible, and narrated by the warm and congenial Maurice England – a perfect choice for Dave’s style.
Oh yeah, Dave – in case you’re reading this – I still like TexMex.