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Track 12—From When We Were Young (2011)

One Day You’ll Run    

Al Dunkleman, Heartfelt Americana Music/ASCAP

For Greg Horne


It’s nineteen-forty eight, the summertime is here

But there’s something in the air, mystery and fear

They say it’s polio, they say it’s bad

They say it’s the worst thing, that we’ve ever had


I’m just a young boy, in this hospital bed

With thoughts of Mom and Dad, racin’ through my head

Sickness and surgery, is all I’ve known

I feel like an orphan, without a home

“Dear God, listen to my plea, what is wrong with me?”



One day you’ll run, one day you’ll run

One day you’ll run, my dear son

One day you’ll run, one day you’ll run

One day you’ll run, into my arms


I know you’re hurting, I feel your pain

I know you’re lonely, I feel your shame

But I’ll never leave you, I’ll never hide

I’m here to comfort you, I’m here by your side

You see a long, long time ago, I died that you might know (Chorus)


Greg’s Story

One July morning in 1948, at nine months old, young Greg Horne of Shelby, North Carolina, had mastered the art of crawling and was ready to pull himself up and begin his first steps. Unknown to him at the time, Greg’s first steps would never be taken.

In the late 1940s, the polio epidemic was ravaging the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Even though individuals of all ages were being afflicted by this mysterious virus, young children and infants were especially vulnerable. Fear of the virus closed movie theaters, public pools and parks. With limited antibodies to fight off the virus, Greg contracted polio.

At eleven months, Greg was sent to the hospital in nearby Gastonia but was turned away due to the facility being full of those newly infected. His parents were then directed to take him to Morganton. To compound matters, besides polio the doctors in Morganton determined that Greg had also contracted encephalitis. 

“The doctors didn’t think that I would survive so I was sent home to die,” shared Greg.

Greg’s frail body was somehow able to stave off the deadly viruses and at the age of five was sent to the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, for further diagnosis and treatment. Greg ended up spending the next sixteen-months at the hospital. During his stay, Greg endured eighteen different operations on his legs and arms—many of the procedures labeled “experimental.”

For the next ten-years Greg made trips back and forth to the polio facility. At age eleven, and within a span of four months, Greg endured an additional eight operations. Greg shared that, “These operations were some of the first muscle transplants in medical history.” Greg went on to share that during this ten year period that he never knew what would happen—“Will I be able to come back home or will I have to stay.”

Throughout high school, Greg wore heavy and awkward braces on his legs. These metal braces were especially cumbersome when trying to sleep with his legs in a straightened position. The doctors had hoped that Greg would eventually utilize crutches to get around, but with only one strong arm, this mode of mobility was not an option. Resigned to his fate, Greg shared these words with his parents—“I’ll never walk again, so we might as well take them off.” A wheel chair eventually became Greg’s legs.   

After high school, Greg worked as a proof reader for over ten-years at The Shelby Star newspaper. In the early 1990s, Greg began to experience muscle weakening due to post-polio syndrome.

Following his love of electronics as a youth, Greg currently operates a custom stereo business out of his home in Shelby that he established thirty-six years ago. His wife Wanda and other hired help assist Greg with his “Sound Advice” business.

Greg Horne is a dear friend of mine. He has taught me a lot about life. He has taught me through his example that regardless what hand we have been dealt, if we will face our challenges with courage and determination, we will eventually succeed. Greg continues to be a tremendous source of encouragement and support to me and my music.

One day you’ll run