Jerry Douglas shares wisdom with Labrae grads

LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) — It has been 40 years since 13-time Grammy Award winner Jerry Douglas graduated from LaBrae High School.

On this anniversary, he welcomed the latest round of graduates to the start of their adult life. Douglas was guest speaker at this year’s commencement ceremony on Friday.

One hundred and seven graduates listened to his speech.

“It’s pretty exciting. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him but I look forward to hearing some of his stories,” said Nick Percich, LaBrae class president

“It’s great to know someone from around here who has been successful in life is coming back here to give us some advice and a few pointers in our lives,” said Peyton Aldridge, salutatorian, LaBrae High School.

Four decades ago, Douglas was in the same seats as these graduates.

“You kind of look out there and see yourself 40 years ago,” Douglas said.

At that time, he said he didn’t have a clue music would be his life.

“I was going to go to Maryland and be an English major,” said Douglas.

One day after Douglas walked across the stage, the foggy picture started to turn clear: Music would be a big part of his life.

“I played a gig the next day after graduation,” said Douglas.

But as Douglas said, Friday was about the graduates and the futures.

He said there is one main thing they need to remember while heading into the next chapter of life.

“If you’re happy in what you do and not driven by fear and that stuff and be happy in your head then I think the world is your oyster,” Douglas told the graduates.


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