TAMPA (WFLA) – In this week’s Cate’s Corner, Keith Cate talks about the reluctant yes.

Here are his thoughts:

“I met a man in Tampa several years ago who inspired me with his talent, humility, and longevity. He’ll be one hundred years old on Saturday.

Like most centenarians, Mervin Shiner has wisdom born of experience. Merv wanted to be a country singer. But his career didn’t take off until he reluctantly said yes to something he didn’t want to do.

In 1950 a record producer asked him to record a children’s song. Merv thought singing a kids’ tune would derail his country career.

It took persuading and a $50 dollar check before he reluctantly said yes to recording what became a huge hit, “Here Comes Peter Cottontail,” a timeless tune many of us learned by heart. That decision to reluctantly say yes changed his life.

Merv appeared on the Grand Ole Opry alongside Hank Williams and went on to write songs for Charlie Pride and Dolly Parton. When Dolly saw a story, we did about Mervin she got him a backstage pass to her Tampa concert so they could reunite after 50-years. We took this picture after their trip down memory lane. It’s a moment in time I will always treasure.

So, tonight I wish Merv Shiner a very happy 100th birthday along with a thank you for sharing a pearl of wisdom that even a reluctant yes can be life-changing… and so much better than a prideful no.