Bubba Paris is much more than the guy who blocked for Joe Montana and played a significant role in the San Francisco 49ers securing three Super Bowl trophies.
He is a family man, a motivational speaker, an evangelist, and an author.
But more important he is who he is shaped by his life experiences, how he handled them and those who have been there for him along the way.
Paris is one of more than 40 authors who will be on hand when the ninth edition of the Great Valley Bookfest takes place Saturday, Oct. 9, at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley anchored by Bass Pro Shops at Union Road and the 120 Bypass.
His book “Born for this Moment” was forged from the trials and tribulations that set the stage for him to go from a kid growing up in Louisville, Kentucky to stepping onto the field in Super Bowl XIX.
Paris recalled much of his childhood being taunted for being the overweight kid.
“There was a time when I would have given anything to be a normal kid,” Paris said,
In looking back he realized had he gotten his wish there would never have been All-American kudos as a University of Michigan football player, second team Academic All-American honors, three Super Bowl rings as a San Francisco 49er or even to where he is today serving as executive director of the Tracy Community Connections Center.
“Everyone is born for a purpose,” Paris said. “You just have to find what it is.”
His book uses his life experiences as a way of helping readers along their own journey. As such it is designed as a guide to go back and pick up again when one encounters disappointments or experiences frustrations on their journey to find their purpose in life.
“The knowledge that I gained as I navigated through the obstacles of my life can help you navigate through yours,” Paris noted. “Even though you may be at a different place in your journey, this book will help you understand the significance of your decisions and actions.”
The Tracy resident has literally made it his life’s work to help others find their self-worth as well.
As executive director of the non-profit Tracy Community Connections Center Paris helps provide the homeless and those at risk of being homeless with services, resources, and referrals to assist them to regain independence with dignity.
“The true gift is not the trophy,” Paris said.
Instead it is “whatever you are going through life to prepare you for your moment.”
The left tackle who donned the red and gold No. 77 jersey to help the 49ers secure Super Bowl titles in 1984, 1988 and 1989 wants others to find the purpose in life they were born to pursue. Paris hopes to help people understand it is not the moment that defines them as much as how they got there.
And if they do it right they will benefit from — as well as help others — through little gestures of reaching out to others. Even a fleeting moment that one may not recall or even realize when they touched the lives of complete strangers can come full circle.
“It’s about planting seeds in the world,” the 60-years-old Tracy resident said.
An example Paris shares happened a number of years ago after Paris had an old boat that sunk.
He was able to salvage the boat and wanted to restore it. The incident came at a point in his life when money was tight.
Paris took it to a boat shop in Stockton.
He remembered thinking that the guy “probably thinks I’m rich because I’m a former football player” and was likely going to come up with an estimate he couldn’t afford.
Upon his return, Paris was stunned to see the boat was not just water worthy again but the man went beyond that and painted it in 49er colors complete with Bubba Paris’ name on at no extra cost.
When he asked why the man did it, the reply stunned Paris.
The man’s brother when he passed away bequeathed one of his most cherished possessions to him — a framed photo of Paris posing with him after they had chatted for a short period.
The man related how his brother cherished the encounter and how he had made him feel.
For Paris it was a fleeting moment he couldn’t recall. But the moment he shared had a lasting and positive impact that he would have been unaware of if his boat hadn’t sunk prompting him to seek out a Stockton craftsman.
Paris noted as one gets older you have the ability to put into context the adversity and challenges you dealt with and how it helped you navigate through life.
As such Paris believes you will have the ability to make a dynamic difference in the lives of others.
“You should do it (live life) as though you have a divine purpose,” Paris said.
For more information on the bookfest, go to gvbookfest.org.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com