Broadway grew up in Marne, Michigan, a small town surrounded by farms. Perhaps it was the smell of cow manure that made him the eccentric character he is today.
Broadway’s introduction to Country music came through the 90’s hit, Boot Scootin' Boogie. He says, "I played the Boot Scootin' Boogie cassette single so many times that mom threw it away and said it was an accident."
He is a huge advocate for the American Cancer Society. His mother passed away from Lung cancer in 2008, and father has battled three different types of cancer.
When not in the studio, Broadway enjoys cartoons, Squidbillies on Adult Swim is his favorite. He also enjoys Stephen King books and spending time with his family consisting of his wife, two kids and dog.
Pamela asked that I share this with you...
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. Obama;
In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I am writing to BEG you, to IMPLORE you, to do something to help the least among us: the mentally ill. Get them medical care. In some cases it may have to be forced upon them. Please find an acceptable way to do that. Right now our laws don’t allow that unless the individual is deemed “a danger to himself or others.” That doesn’t work. That isn’t good enough. That has to change. It’s a national disgrace.
It is the nature of mental illness for patients to refuse medical care and to refuse to take prescribed medications when they are under a doctor’s care. And it’s the nature of family members to turn a blind eye to the problem they have in their own homes. Our society places an everlasting stigma upon anyone remotely suspected of mental illness. But patients need help and families need help and society needs help and our country needs help in dealing with this very serious and growing problem in our world. The Nancy Lanzas in this country, and there are many of them, as much as they try, can’t do it alone. I’m all for gun control, but guns aren’t the problem, people are the problem.
I am 71 years old and I have NEVER written a letter or communicated in any way with a president or any other government official. It’s time. I have shed a lot of tears in the last few days. I have turned off my TV because I couldn’t bear to hear any more about the horrific suffering of those families in Newtown, and I couldn’t bear to try to imagine what those classrooms must have been like for those 20 children and the staff.
I have lived a long time and had a lot of struggles in my life, not the least of which meant coping with mental illness in my family. Two of my grandparents, both in their 90s, died in the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Hospital in Wingdale, NY, after commitment for dementia. My husband’s uncle, a very successful attorney in New York and Washington, DC, became depressed and committed suicide – he jumped off a Maryland bridge one morning.
I lived with my bipolar husband for the 15 years in which he refused treatment or medication of any kind. Although I never felt physically threatened and never thought my life was in danger, my life and the lives of my four children were a living hell during that period, but few outside our family knew it and nothing could be done to compel him to get medical help because he wasn’t “a danger to himself or others.” The mental and emotional stress on all of us at times was unbearable. I’m sure that, if my husband had been treated, he would be alive today to see his nine grandchildren. Most of them never knew him, a tragedy in itself.
I believe it was in the 1950s and 60s when most of our mental institutions were closed or re-purposed (Wingdale among them), because they were old and needed expensive and extensive renovations. Mentally ill patients were sent home and many of them ended up living in cardboard boxes on the streets, under bridges, in train stations, in our cities. They still do. They are the least among us. Now we call them “homeless,” in essence by that label, placing the blame on them, suggesting that they are choosing that lifestyle, rather than placing blame where it really belongs: on our society and our medical system for not providing an acceptable path to treatment for them. Now we are paying the awful price for our failure to deal with mental illness.
While there is no cure for mental illness, in recent years drug companies have developed a number of medications to treat the mentally ill. However, many refuse treatment or live in families that refuse to recognize the problem or are helpless to get medical care for their family member; thus, these patients are never treated or their treatment, like my husband’s, is too little, too late. Their mental conditions escalate. I’ve lived with this. It’s heartbreaking to watch helplessly as a good, kind, intelligent, educated loved one deteriorates from the effects of an untreated mental condition.
I’m begging you to find some way in our otherwise free society to compel the mentally ill to get medical treatment. It’s their right. They deserve treatment and healing as much as anyone else in our society. Mental illness has to be viewed as a physical illness, like cancer or appendicitis. No stigma attached. Treatment is for their own good and they can’t recognize that.
Don’t let this tragedy become a distant memory as the rest of us pick ourselves up and go on with our lives. Please help the mentally ill.
Very truly yours,
Carol G. Barrett