INDIAN HILLS, Colo. — Inventor, musician, tennis player, coach, and most recently Uber driver are the various professions that have sustained Gene Morris’ life over the last several decades, including what he considers a robust spiritual path.
“I just love God’s creation, and I love to get out in it and explore and experiment with life. A lot of things I don’t understand, but I don’t have to understand them to enjoy them. So that’s kind of where I am in life,” he explained, while sitting outside next to his violin, which was leaning up against a park bench.
Morris says even though he is 71 years old, in his mind, he feels more like 17.
“I’ve been around for a while. I guess you could say I’m old enough to be a sage and that’s kind of dangerous because it means I have a trace of wisdom in there, and I know just enough to be dangerous, but the love of life keeps me like a teenager,” he explained with a laugh.
Gene Morris' winding path through life
Morris told Rocky Mountain PBS that he plays the trumpet, piano, harmonica, violin and viola, which, according to his Facebook page made it easy for five-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter Christopher Cross to ask Morris to be a performer in his band.
“I played with Christopher Cross, and I think that’s where I learned a lot about the industry,” he added, explaining how that was the highlight of his career. “It was more than just the music; we would socialize and eat out. I got to know him.”
Morris’ Facebook page also talks about his 30-to-40-year career as a tennis coach; he claims to have worked with a few of the greats like Andy Roddick and Martina Navratilova.
He said his transition to tennis was an easy decision after his wife decided that going on a rock and roll tour with Christopher Cross wasn’t going to happen since they had a young son at home.
“My son was one at the time — my first-born, Nathan — and I was talking about going on the road for a year and my wife was like, ‘drugs, sex, and rock and roll? I don’t think so darling,’” he said with a laugh. “And she was right.”
"If I’d gone on tour, I’d probably not be alive today, so I picked up tennis as my income over the next 40 or so years and was able to raise my kids and afford a family,” he said.
These days Morris is an Uber driver which he says pays for patent attorney’s fees for his development of a contraption called the "wave," that helps violins sound better during studio recordings.
“One of the things I discovered while playing violin in the studio [is that] you have this wonderful hollow wood bodied instrument right next to your ear, and when I went into the studio and played, I wasn’t hearing that. It sounded like a rubber band; very thin, it didn’t have this rich wood sounds,” Morris explained.
Overall, Morris feels his life has been a lucky one. “I’m blessed because I get to hop in a car and meet people and I always carry my fiddle on the dash," he said. "You know, with the road rage, I can look at my fiddle and just chill out and realize this too shall pass."