Blaise Winter stands just inside the doorway of the Morenci Area High School gymnasium. He’s watching students by the dozens file past and take a seat in the bleachers.
They’re coming in to listen to him—this guy they’ve never heard of, this guy dressed in black and smiling through a slightly disfigured face.
Winter throws out some words to a student here and there walking past. He’s making some noise, he’s getting pumped to face the crowd, he’s about to turn on the passion.
And let’s be clear about it right from the start: No one accuses Blaise Winter of lacking passion.
Morenci business owner Joe Farquhar begins the introduction and Winter slinks across the floor in his best feminine pose. No one accuses Winter of being subjugated to the rules of proper etiquette, either. He’s worked through all of that long ago.
He apologizes to Farquhar for spoiling his introduction, then he tells the audience that although he’s worked on a speech impediment for years, not all of his words come out quite right.
And then he lets loose, doing what Blaise Winter does these days: Traveling the country telling audiences—no, exhorting audiences—to stop looking for problems in their lives, to face their fears, to stand up for what’s right, to grow in body, mind and spirit.