Photo Credit: Justin Scott Campbell
"You won't make it, Lee. You're throwing away your college education for nothing."
"Your father didn't mean that. It's just… how are you going to earn money as a musician, sweetie?"
"I need someone who has a plan in life. I can't wait around for you. We're over."
"You've got a good sound, but the club's booked right now."
"Did you see this flyer? That club's hosting a talent show."
"Give it up for Lee Hampton—the winner of a free pint and a tray of hot wings!"
"You scored another gig downtown? Awesome!"
"Wow, you're playing there tonight? Any chance of a free ticket?"
"I'm an agent and I know that I can make you into a big star. Here's my card. Call me."
"Son, your mom and I are proud of you. Congratulations on your first album."
"And this year's Grammy for Best New Artist goes to… Lee Hampton!"
"I'm so sorry that I broke up with you. I didn't mean it. We were so good together. Forgive me?"
"I just got off the phone with Modern Records! They want to produce your next album and send you on tour. Whoo!"
"Sweetie, isn't it time to settle down? You haven't had a single girlfriend in over five years! When do I get my first grandbaby?"
"And that's the latest single by Lee Hampton. What do you think? Call in and let's talk. You know the number—1-800-New-Beat."
"Lee, your mom is ill. You should come home, son."
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Julia Anne Hampton will be remembered for her kindness and spirit."
"You can't just give up your music career to move back home. What are you even going to do? Work at the local hardware store?"
"Would you like to make a donation? We're raising money so the school doesn't shut down our music and arts program."
"You're going to walk away from the fame? The fortune? At the pinnacle of your career? You are making a huge mistake, kid!"
"Mr. H.? I finished my assignment. May I use the restroom?"
"I'd like to take a few minutes from our faculty meeting to congratulate Lee on taking our high school band all the way to Nationals this year!"
"I'm Marie, the new English teacher. Do you know how to get this copier to work?"
"Dad? We have great news. You're going to be a grandpa!"
"I'm so sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Hampton. I did everything I could, but there were complications."
"Thanks for doing this interview. Fans of your music have often wondered what caused you to abruptly leave the music industry."
"You have stage three colon cancer. I'm afraid you don't have much time left."
"I don't how I'm supposed to live without you, Lee. You're my world—you and this little one here."
"I love you, son. Say hello to your mother for me."
"The entertainment world mourns tonight. Lee Hampton will be remembered for his talent and generosity."
Pamela Kung is a former middle/high school English teacher who has yet to decide on what her next profession will be. She is partial to puppies, rock climbing, going to farmers' markets, and of course, reading and writing. She enjoys traveling, lively conversations, receiving letters in the mail, and the occasional good glass of wine.