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Examiner
  • An idol comes home

  • When David Cook was growing up, he wanted to play the drums. However, his mother told him no, forcing him to turn his attention to the guitar.

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  • When David Cook was growing up, he wanted to play the drums. However, his mother told him no, forcing him to turn his attention to the guitar.
    “I don’t think it turned out too bad,” said the 2008 "American Idol" winner of the decision. “But this is not the kind of stuff you think about when you start playing the guitar.”
    Cook, a 2001 graduate of Blue Springs South High School, was honored Tuesday at another one of his former schools – Thomas Ultican Elementary. The driveway leading into the school from Vesper Street was renamed David Cook Alumni Way, in honor of one of Blue Springs’ most famous residents.
    “This is an incredible honor,” he said of the recognition. “Words escape me. It is not something I had in my head growing up, so it is such a huge honor to have this happen.”
    The Blue Springs School District has been wanting to honor Cook for quite some time, it just needed to find the right way to do it. The ceremony included the singing of the national anthem and Thomas Ultican School Song by the elementary students, a presentation from the Blue Springs South Jaguar Pride Drumline and a gift bag full of mementos for Cook to remember from his time at Thomas Ultican. One of those was a piece of the old stage, which was removed during the school’s renovation.
    “The changes are incredible,” he said. “I remember when the bond issue passed so to see how it affected the school was really great.”
    Following the unveiling of the sign, Cook had the opportunity to meet with fans and community members. Missy Gerth, Independence, was thrilled to have the chance to meet the singer again. After Cook signed her arm last year during an appearance at the Midland Theatre, she had the autograph tattooed onto her arm.
    “I lost my mother in November 2008 and 10 days later, his first CD came out,” she said. “It really helped me through one of the worst times in my life. He is a great person, and he deserves this honor.”
    Cook, who performed at a Kansas City Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday night, is working on a new album, though there is not timeframe for its release.
    “I am just really enjoying the creative process right now,” he said. “I loved growing up in Blue Springs. There is really no other place like it, and I have all kinds of amazing memories. This is such a honor.”
     

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