After retiring early from my university professor job, I have served as an adjunct professor in communication ethics at Drury University; I played in a band for 15 years; I wrote songs and recorded an album of originals entitled, “Something Gigantic;” I continue to contribute to this blog, and I’m working on a book; occasionally I speak on the topic of how we can work to build a better public discourse.
In November, 2016, my wife Betsy and I decided to quit our jobs, sell our house, our cars, and most of our stuff. We bought a van, and six months later we took to the road to hear our country’s story. We learned to dismantle our own. We were both teachers for 30 years. Betsy taught first grade and worked as a reading specialist. I taught high school speech and debate for 10 years and was a communication professor at an evangelical university for 20 years (where I started losing my religion).
We traveled all over the country in our van for a couple of years, talking to all kinds of regular people — and high-profile folks from Jeb Bush to Neil deGrasse Tyson — about the big things that divide us, the big things that unite us, and how we can learn to talk to each other better.
After our time on the road, and another year or so bouncing from the van to borrowed living spaces, we decided to settle back in our hometown of Springfield, Missouri. We built a house in our old historic neighborhood. We hang out with our dog, Maybe. And our new grandson, Emmett.
You can find my solo album, “Something Gigantic,” on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, BandCamp, Pandora, or wherever you go to fill your ears. You can go to the same places and find albums from my former band, Brother Wiley. Here’s a speech I gave in 2018 about our journey around the country.
Brett Miller is an independent artist/composer registered with BMI. For sync and licensing, or booking contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.