A man, who for the last several years has entertained local citizens with his singing and shared his fellowship, will soon be leaving Shelbyville for new beginnings. Lance Harrison, who moved to Shelbyville in 2006 from Rockford, IL after his retirement as a school teacher in the Illinois school system, started his journey of meeting new people mainly through his musical talents.
Lance Harrison has mainly dedicated his retirement life, so far, to bringing joy to many people in the Shelbyville community by playing music for free at several area businesses…the Shelbyville Rehabilitation & Health Care Center (formerly Olivewood Nursing Home), Hawthorne Inn Assisted Living, Villas of Holly Brook, Shelbyville Manor, and the Reservoir Manor, having performed four to five days out of each week for years. He helped entertain at many special events over the years too, such as performing twice for the Shelbyville Manor at their Spring Fling and Fall Frolic in 2009 that raised money for the Shelby County Senior Center in Shelbyville. In April of 2012, Lance Harrison was given the “Volunteer of the Year” award by the Shelbyville Manor for all his efforts to entertain their residents, which he has continued doing every week until mid-June of 2014 by playing his guitar and singing, as well as playing his harmonica for the listeners. Through the years he also would occasionally “jam” with resident music lovers in his travels, one being Garfield Willis, who played harmonica also but has since passed away a few years ago.
Retirement means slowing down for most folks, but Lance Harrison is ready for a new adventure this year as he is moving to Florida soon to get away from Illinois’s winters and will be flying back and forth to Rockford, IL, when he can, to get to visit and play with his new granddaughter, Brinley, who was born in early June of this year. Lucky new acquaintances in Florida will be getting the chance to enjoy Lance’s musical talents and encounter his contagious friendly smile. However, he will be missed by the many friends that he has made in Shelbyville at his church, neighborhood, and places that he has played his music … be it country music, gospel, etc. or rock-n-roll for the younger generation.
Lance Harrison is a friend to all he meets and he will be leaving a song in everyone’s hearts in Shelbyville for having known him. His smiling face, friendship, and musical talents will be greatly missed here in Shelbyville, but he is showing us all that retirement is full of all kinds of new beginnings and adventures…as well as new songs…thanks to God’s blessings.