Thirty years ago, the author entered the field of acoustical research, curious as to how the human mind processes music. That search quickly led to the field of psychoacoustics and explorations of how basic sound elements are processed, which was presented at an ASA meeting in 1996. In 1999, the author had a benign tumor removed from his auditory nerve, leaving him deaf in his right ear. Over the next few years this led to his increasing interest in how people with altered hearing process sound. This presentation will describe the journey into clinical research that resulted, the amazing collaborative community that exists in hearing research, both on the clinical and basic sides, and how important it is to form connections among researchers and clinicians in order to fully explore the questions of how humans understand sound.