Song written by father of drug victim focus
of community concert next Monday
By Ben Lasseter
EPHRAIM—In the seven years since the death of his son, Ryan Palmer has striven to create a positive learning experience for his community out of the tragedy.
On Monday, Sept. 14, his Addiction Awareness Campaign will host a free community concert featuring musician and motivational speaker Ryan Stream. The concert will take place at Ephraim’s Canyon View Park Amphitheater from 7 p.m. until past 8 p.m. and will premiere a song and music video that Stream and Palmer created together. Aside from fun, their objective is to honor Palmer’s late son Jeremy by promoting addiction awareness to the county.
“People do not like to talk about this subject,” Palmer said. “I’ve seen enough of this to know there’s a better way.”
Palmer has spoken about the suffering drug addiction can cause in front of thousands of Sanpete County students and on CNN’s “This Is Life” series.
Stream, who lives in Payson, has also recently spoken at Ephraim Middle School, Manti High School and three correctional youth homes in Sanpete County. His speeches and songs touch on themes like parenthood, patriotism and dealing with adversity. They allude to his life experiences, which include living through homelessness as a child without parents and substance abuse as a young adult.
“Because of my bad choices and decisions, I was failing at life,” Stream said. Now, he uses his platform to profess what he has learned about “overcoming personal obstacles and being the author of your own story.”
Among the steps he took to overcome his obstacles, he volunteered to serve two tours in Afghanistan with the Army. These life transformations helped him beat substance addictions, he said.
Palmer and Stream paired up when an old colleague of Palmer’s put the two in touch because of their shared passion for helping people. At the concert, Stream will debut a song and music video they wrote and directed together that portrays Stream as Jeremy Palmer, Ryan Palmer’s son, speaking from heaven down to his family.
“Better than going fast and jumping my motorcycle in Sanpete at night,” Stream sings of heaven in the new song entitled “I Wonder.” The video features local motocross stuntman Sean Nielson doing aerial stunts over Stream in the Bonneville Salt Flats at the Utah-Nevada state line. Jeremy Palmer loved to ride motorbikes, Ryan Palmer said.
“This video has been a long time coming,” Palmer said. “The things that were in the video: Christ hugging Jeremy, Jeremy being free from his addiction, Jeremy being happy again… It made it real. It’s easier for a parent to have faith that their child is being taken care of.”
Palmer’s campaign has introduced him to “victims of generational misuse of drugs” in the county. He has also offered the community to reach out to him with questions about how to talk to children about addiction.
Palmer encourages parents to bring their families as a way to spark discussions about maintaining healthy lifestyles. He hopes his and Stream’s concert and video can discourage drug abuse and inspire any victims to believe in finding a way out of their struggles.
“I feel we should do it once or twice a year,” Palmer said. “It’s gonna be loud. People should enjoy that.”
Singer Tristan Cole will open for Stream’s performance at 6:30 p.m., and BYU’s Cosmo The Cougar and a Spiderman performer will be in the audience. After the show, Stream will stick around to greet the audience.
Pandemic guidelines outlined by the state of Utah allow for gatherings of this size to occur while the region is in the yellow category. Along with official guidelines that include wearing a mask at a gathering of this anticipated size, Palmer suggested audience members practice social distancing.
For more information about Ryan Stream, visit ryanstream.com. To reach out to Ryan Palmer, email firstname.lastname@example.org