...Honey Creek Square Mall, the DQ I used to frequent after school (Hot Fudge Brownie Delight, Hello!), Long John Silver's, Rax Roast Beef (which is now Arby's), the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds and on and on and on. As we traveled down 41 South, I found my head whipping left and right, trying to take it all in. It had been thirty years since I traveled this road.
Our first stop was going to be my old neighborhood, Woodgate East. I wasn't sure I would be able to find it, but once I got to the top of the hill, past the Monastery, I knew the road. My body knew the turns to take, and we found ourselves on Highland Court. We went right to the house and saw all sorts of crap outside. So, the picture looks a bit junky, but it was still great to see my house. I giggled as I remembered sneaking out at night to get into some kind of trouble. I thought about my dad listening to Willie Nelson albums. I remembered the summer Chip Glore had his motorcycle accident and Jenifer and I made dinner for the family.
I showed Steven where Dan Roberts had lived, Royce Ehrle, and then Donita and Jenifer's houses. (my buddies) It was strange to look at those two houses and have a 60 second replay of my life go on in my head. Toto, Heart, Earth Wind & Fire, Jesus Christ Superstar, tomato soup with popcorn, unsweet tea, yogurt, Shower to Shower powder, earrings, Fritz, Coco, Kelly.
We then continued our tour by driving by the school. Steven noticed the sign before I did. (go figure)
From outside, I pointed out where my locker was, the band room and where we practiced marching band. I thought about waiting for the bus to take us to band camp. I remembered wet hair from swimming, basketball games and pep band, homecoming courts, musicals, revues, lunch in the cafeteria, and on and on. It was so quiet, being that it's summertime. It felt so odd to be there. I'd thought about this moment for a long long time, and I found myself feeling a little, well, empty?
After a much needed nap (Jenifer kept us up much too late the previous evening!) we headed over to the Meet and Greet at a classmate's gorgeous home. I haven't felt that nervous since I don't know when. I seriously contemplated turning around and heading for the hills. No one would know, right? So, Steven and I walk to the back of the lovely house, and we see a throng of people in the yard, and I seriously think I'm going to pee my pants. All of a sudden, from nowhere, comes crazy Brenda up the steps to give me the biggest bear hug. Brenda hadn't changed one iota.
I started looking around and was so happy to realize that I recognized faces. (I only had one moment of, "honestly, I don't remember you.") Did they recognize me? Did they remember me? Oh man, do they like me? I made my way down the steps and my ankle went out on me and I came this close to making a REAL memorable entrance, if you know what I mean. Luckily, Steven caught me and we moved through the throng.
I saw the boy who I broke up with by singing to him on the telephone. (Sorry Rob, I still feel bad about that) I saw the girl we all thought was so beautiful. (yep, she still is) I located my Facebook friends. I put on my name tag and wrote my maiden name for the first time in ages. (Steven went by the name, "Husband.") I drank beer, legally, with these folks. I reminisced with the boys from the Young Bucks Band. The baton twirler was there. Bravettes were there. People remembered me as the Coach's daughter.
I giggled with Sam. Chris and I discussed life changes. I tried my darndest to get scoop on Pete Grimes. Steven was becoming the life of the party. Darla, Jeff and I discussed driving up from the south and how great the temps in Indiana were.
I ate a ton of red, black and white (school colors) candies, and made Steven try a Little Kings. (beer of choice for the underage crowd in the late 70's)
And, as I was sitting there, admiring the weather, the people, my husband and life in general, I....
(to be continued)