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An Open Letter to Jake Hoot

Dear Jake,

When a tall woman, old enough to be your mother – no, your grandmother – holds her arms out to hug you, that’ll be me.  It will be a hug of gratitude for sharing your singing talent with everyone who watched Season 17 of The Voice and my thanks for your humility, your thoughtfulness, and your appreciation.

             Until this season, I’ve never watched The Voice. A few years ago, a friend encouraged me to watch it.  “Be sure to catch the first show of the season,” she said.  “That’s when the coaches pick teams and there’s lots of outstanding singers.”  I missed your blind audition, but when I heard someone from Cookeville made the cut, I searched online and found a picture of you wearing a black cap and a dark plaid shirt.  I jumped on the Jake Hoot bandwagon when Tennessee Tech hosted a Watch Party at Hooper Eblen.  Out of curiosity, I went, sat with hundreds of your fans, and watched to the very end when you performed.

            I don’t remember what you sang that night.  I do remember that I felt a connection with you, a Cookevillian and a TTU alumnus.  You wore normal everyday clothes and could have sat unnoticed among those of us watching, except for your height and because I’m six feet tall and my son is 6’ 9” I was happy to see a big guy on stage.  You lived, with your missionary family, in the Dominion Republic where I spent a week on a mission trip.

            That Monday night I voted for you and Tuesday, I cheered when you made it through.  Then I watched every Monday and Tuesday and voted 10 votes every way I could. 

            Thank you, Jake, for the excitement you have created in our community.  Your successes were our successes.  We celebrated over coffee with breakfast, sweet tea with lunch, and wine with dinner.  We downloaded your songs.  We talked about people we knew who knew you.  We marveled that someone from Cookeville was in L. A. and doing well.

            Throughout those many weeks, I enjoyed your every performance and I appreciated the little things.  You answered questions with “Yes, mam,” and “Yes, sir.”  On the final night as you four finalists took the stage, you stopped and offered your hand to Rose who walked up the steps behind you. 

            When you were announced as the winner, you bowed.  Bowed. Most winners throw their arms high with a stance of look at me.  Your response was humble thankfulness.  You gave credit to others.  You came home to Cookeville and, with gratitude, offer a free concert.

            In your dress, your manners, your performances, you stayed true to the person you were the very first night of The Voice.  You reminded me that good guys do finish first.

            May your singing career be successful and may you have the courage to not let others define you as continue to be yourself.

Blessings for the very best from a Hoot Fan,

Susan

5 Responses

  1. Thank you Susan for each and every word you had in your heart and wrote about Jake Hoot!!! My sentiments exactly, as I feel quite sure there are thousands of others, who feel the same way! My prayers for Jake is to keep being who he is right now, keep God first in his life, his family by his side, keep sharing that God-given talent with us all and always stay humble and kind. Jake, you are such an inspiration for all ages! Love you Jake Hoot and all you stand for…you make us so proud in so many ways. May God bless you and your family throughout your career and in every day life! A friend from the heart, Sue….

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  2. I am so happy to have you asa friend. I love your heart ❤️

    Kat Rust Bobkatsr@gmail.com

    >

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  3. What wonderful words in this post. Jake Hoot you’re so humble and that’s what important. Always be Humble and Kind.

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  4. You hit the nail on the head. It takes more than talent to cause such a “stirring!” I am proud to claim Jake Hoot as Cookeville’s own!!! Kindness Matters!!!!!!

    Like

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