Why would I toast Mike Rowe? Why?…Well why wouldn’t I?
We all know Mike Rowe as the host of the hit Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs. Man I loved that show! And of course we recognize his voice as the narrator to such shows as The Deadliest Catch, American Chopper, The Ultimate Fighter and Shark Week. However, did you know Mike was a Boy Scout and reached the rank of Eagle Scout? Did you know Mike was a professional opera singer with the Baltimore Opera? Or how about the host of QVC for a time? Take time to check out his impressive resume’. Honestly, the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man has nothing on Mike Rowe!
Mike Rowe is a very diverse and talented individual and a fellow Marylander. And this is, in company with his new endeavors such as the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity designed to provide passionate individuals with skilled training and scholarships, why I take the time to toast him this evening!
But as The Bourboneer, how does this toast to Mike Rowe relate to your love for bourbon you might ask? Just stick with me and I will make the connection. Relax!
I first remember Mike as the host of Your New Home on WJZ-TV out of Baltimore, MD. As I mentioned before, Mike is also a fellow Marylander. However, he packs much more cred than I. He was born and raised in the Old Line State and I am merely a 20+ year transplant. But, it’s this connection where our paths cross (well just my knowledge of him. He has no clue who I am).
Back to the story. In 2005, I was sitting in the waiting room at the Anne Arundel Medical Center while my new born daughter was having her heels pricked to test her bilirubin levels (very random, I know. And may I add, bilirubin is such a fun word to say). Amid the din of the half empty waiting room, I recall hearing the very distinct and dulcet voice of the Your New Home’s narrator emanating from the woefully inadequate TV . “Wow! What a great voice!” I thought to myself, squinting to see the screen. “That guy has to be working on bigger and better things than Your New Home, out of Baltimore!” Mike’s presence owned the show. He just seemed out of place to me, too much of a natural personality to be doing that type of regional broadcast. Trust me, I am not a measuring stick of talent by any means, but I immediately thought, “that dude is going to be a star!” I don’t know if that makes sense and I am certainly not belittling the show, but that is what I clearly remember from that day. Well that and of course my daughter’s nauseating high pitched squeal echoing from down the hall as her heels were being used as pin cushions.
Anyway, It wasn’t long after that I started seeing Mike on numerous other shows and series, as we all did (and rightfully so). But in 2012, the Discovery Channel aired a 3 part series called How Booze Built America. The miniseries featured Mike as he traveled around the country learning about how the history of booze and the United States were so intertwined. This wasn’t the “History” we were taught in school either. This was also about the time I really began to rekindle my love for bourbon and began to galvanize my desire to study what roll the distilled spirit had in our country’s history. Obviously, I thoroughly enjoyed the series. Not solely because of the content, but equally so in the manner in which Mike Rowe presented it with a style signature only to him.
Are you starting to see the connection now? Mike Rowe, Maryland, booze, bourbon, Bourboneer…toast? Good, but I am not quite finished.
When I first decided to write about my love for bourbon, I honestly imagined crafting my articles more so as a narration than as merely words on a page. I consider myself right brain dominant and I see things in more of a creative light opposed to the more logical, left brain dominant folks (Yeah I know, I get that the entire right brain vs left brain concept may be a myth. Just go with it!). When I write, I narrate as well. ACTING! It sounds odd, but it works for me. So as the idea of The Bourboneer evolved and my desire for writing progressed, I truly found inspiration in the “narration” of my posts. And then, at that moment, it hit me.
If I had the choice to select anyone that could bring to life and narrate any or all of The Bourboneer articles, it would be Mike Gregory Rowe! Without question! (James Earl Jones was a close second, but the “Vader” tone, although very cool, would be a little “Darth” for me. Get it? “Darth” instead of “dark”…nevermind. I find your lack of faith disturbing!)
Now can you see the connection? Now can you see my reason for toast? Phew.
So to you, Mike Rowe, I raise my glass and toast your excellence and the inspiration you had on this imbiber’s nominal scribblings. I am a Bourboneer who seeks to not only share but “narrate” his love for the distinctive American spirit. Many thanks!
Bourbon enjoyed while writing this article: Early Times No. 354 Kentucky Whiskey, 40% ABV or 80 proof (matured 36 months in reused cooperage) Early Times Distillery Co., Louisville, KY.