October 19, 2017
Moore Mission Moments - The Watershed Group


by Patti Moore


I Won’t Back Down is one of the best-known songs written and performed by Tom Petty, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend and leader of the Heartbreakers, who died suddenly this past October 3rd.  Like all of his music, it resonated for me, and it’s not a stretch to say that the Heartbreakers have been the sound track of my life.  

            Gainesville, Florida has been my home for nearly all of my adult life. I love this town, the people, the beauty of the environment and the University of Florida. Tom was our native son:  He and two of his band mates from the Heartbreakers grew up in Gainesville, developed their sound here and still have family here. Tom’s first cousin Sadie Darnell is our current sheriff.

            When I first heard of his death, I felt the urge to listen again to his music, and dug into articles about his life, his work and upbringing. Throughout all of the pieces I read, I noticed a common thread; here was a hardworking, music-loving, sensitive artist who never forgot his southern roots.  His song, Southern Accent, was his anthem to his heritage; Johnny Cash said it was so good it should replace Dixie as the song of the south.

            Tom Petty and his childhood friend’s first band was Mudcrutch, but the “fit” was not quite right; differing opinions about what kind of music they wanted to make together led to their breakup and ultimately to the formation of The Heartbreakers.  Tom was laser-focused on creating his own sound, not copycatting others. Tom and the Heartbreakers played with Johnny Cash, and toured with Bob Dylan. Later, Tom, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan joined forces to perform together in the supergroup they called the Traveling Wilburys; a stellar career by any measure.

            But most remarkably in a business better known for one-hit wonders, I learned that Tom Petty and two of the original Heartbreakers were together for forty years, adding only two other musicians to the band during its existence.  They’d just wrapped up their world tour celebrating that anniversary. And that made me wonder; how do the Heartbreakers and a handful of other bands manage to hold together over many years?  How does any team survive over such a long period of time? The more I read, the more I understood that the key to the Heartbreakers’ longevity was Tom’s attitude toward his position in the group – and his concept of what a team was.

            Despite being the headliner, Tom always insisted he was not the leader of the band. He described himself as being more like the “older brother” in a family, who had to take charge of the “young ‘en’s” from time to time.  His bandmates agreed that it was “mostly a democracy” but in the end, Tom had the final say because they trusted his creative genius and his dedication to the purity of their unique sound.  They worked together to create a band for the ages. They disagreed and fought and quit - and returned, because they knew that what they were creating together was better and much more fun than what any of them could have done alone.

            What are you creating for the ages?  Who is your team comprised of – and what do you bring to it as its leader?  What is it you are so committed to that you…Won’t Back Down?


Tom Petty receiving a distinguished achievement award from University of Florida First Lady Chris Machen 






As a society, we’re increasingly segregated by age – and that’s not good for us as individuals, or for our communities. So how do we get young and old together? Some solutions from around the world:


In Finland, Millenials priced out of the housing market live with the aging in a retirement home – and everyone benefits:


…While in Cleveland, Ohio, music students save money by rooming at a retirement home, and “pay the rent” by offering recitals for the residents.


Meanwhile, in China, a nursing home is offering financial incentives to adult children who regularly visit their parents:  “The facility in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, says consistent family visits will improve residents' quality of life… The biggest reward is worth 200 yuan ($29; £23) and is for those who show up 30 times over the course of two months. Lesser amounts are on offer for 10 or 20 visits during the same period.


“The care home says the number of people visiting regularly has soared since it introduced the initiative. It might end up as rather a costly endeavour, though - the first set of "filial piety awards" saw vouchers worth more than 30,000 yuan ($4,400; £3,400) handed out.”



 Agrace Hospice opens Madison, Wisconsin area's first stand-alone grief support center.


“The center will accommodate a growing demand for grief support, including from families whose loved ones, like Evanson, didn’t receive hospice care. Much of the new space is designed for children.


Agrace, like other hospice providers, has long offered grief support groups and individual grief sessions. But demand was outpacing space available, and some people didn’t want to go to Agrace’s main center in Fitchburg for grief support because their loved ones died there or generally because it can evoke death, said Cheri Milton, a grief specialist at Agrace


What’s your hospice doing to create alliances and awareness in your community? I’d love to hear about it!  Send your stories, press releases, and announcements to: [email protected]


I am looking forward to working with some wonderful programs and people in Virginia, Florida, California and Maryland over the next 2 weeks!  I love being on the front lines of hospice care.  It is inspiring and humbling to witness the extraordinary care that is provided all across this country by hospice providers.  Thank you all for what you do!

Also, if you want to know some great travel tips just let me know,I have experience! Hah!


Pause, take a breath, smile and enjoy the reflection of the sky in the river at RiverCove Retreat Center
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