:: Thursday, October 31, 2002 ::
Living in Elkin was fun for the most part; as far as I can remember anyway. I made quite a few friends in the five years that I lived there, one of whom I still talk to every now and again by the name of Ben Gulley. He lived in a big red house just down the street from my church. Everyday we would meet at school and build tunnels in the sandox. Elkin Elementary School housed grades K-5 and just as we had decided to move out they began construction on an addition to include sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. I was in accelerated classes in the third and fourth grades. Alpha classes as they were called way back then. Supposedly, I was gifted, until we moved to the old Buckeye State. But that's according to my mother. Great memories it seems mothers have huh? I was also in quite a few sports before I started to see the other side of this so-called "hill." Ha ha. That would be a great excuse for being lazy if only I weren't nineteen. Anyway, I played baseball-second base-the best they ever saw. I played soccer, too. I believe I was a forward but it didn't realy matter for it was merely Run and Kick league. I was on the Elkin Swim Team for a couple of years as well. I won quite a few ribbons for first, second, and third prizes at meets that we would have in surrounding counties. Another friend of mine named Trent was a fellow tunnel digger. The first night I ever spent at a friend's house was with him. That night was fun for the most part until a slightly embarrassing thing happened when we arrived back at Trent's house from the local Chuckie Cheese's. Around midnight we got back to Trent's house and sarted playing with our brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. A little later his way older brother who in reality was only about fifteen, came home as and started messing with us as he always did whenever I was over there. One o'clock rolled around and Trent and I were about to fall asleep when I got up, put my jacket and shoes on, went into Trent's father's room, woke him up, and politley muttered, "It's time for me to go home now." Personally I don't remember saying this but maybe it's just subconscious denial.
Another town that we lived in was called Jonesville. My father had acquired several job oppertunities there as a carpenter. One of the most famous houses that he worked on, the only one I helped him with, was a huge, three-story house on SUrrey Avenue. I say "famous" because the factual Sheriff Andy Taylor that the television show "The Andy Griffith Show" was based on. Naturally, Andy Griffith portrayed Andy Taylor. Mr. Taylor's son, Opie, yes, a real person also, inherited the house. But Opie was on drugs and he wrecked the place pretty badly. This was about the time that my parents stumbled onto this little pot of gold. Yeah right. This house is one that my parents bought as a real estate venture. My dad and I fixed it up and sold it. The very first day that we went inside, my dad spotted an acoustic guitar leaning on the stairs. He said I could have it. I've been playing the guitar ever since.
Meanwhile, in Elkin, every Saturday the library would host this thing called Street Scene. Street Scene was kind of a festival that was held in the library's parking garage. There was all kinds of stuff to do there. They had a wall that you could paint, games, food, basically it was a weekly party.
During the summers in Elkin I attended the Recreation Center Summer Camp. One time, my father had to drive to Statesville,NC to finish a job and ended up having to stay there for a month and a half. The beginning of that day was just like any tother day, wake up and go to camp. I got there that day(it being the same day that my father had gone to Statesville) and sat down in the gym like I always did. After a while I guess my mind had just realized I wasn't going to see my father for a few weeks and I started crying. It wasn't just crying, it was wailing. And I do mean wailing. I was making so much noise that my mom had to take the day off of work to console me.
Then the dreaded day came. "Colin we're moving to Ohio." Those were the words I had not wanted to hear in a million years. So, off on the road again. It just so happened to be the day bofore my birthday. When we got to our hotel, we had a little party to celebrate my turning nine. So, in retrospect, it's more fun to have your birthday party at your house, or someone else's, just as long as you're not in the middle seat of a cramped U-haul truck. Well, something good came out of that trip; I received my very first driving lesson. My father put me on his knee and said "Colin, take the wheel." I grabbed the wheel but, I guees out of the sheer glee of being an awesome driver, I somehow kicked the gearshift. The lever moved swiftly from fifth to second gear and sudden;y there was a loud screeching noise. My father screamed some very polite words I'm sure and shifted it back into fifth gear. I can't remember the last time I drove anyting after that up until a few years ago.
On the first day of school in good old Circleville, Ohio I was in the fourth grade. My teacher's name was Mrs. McNeily. We were friends right off the bat because my favorite college football team just happened to be Notre Dame. Notre Dame was also in fact the college that her son was attending.
I made a few friends in those to years of school. Then came middle school. Everts Middle School-the only middle school-contained sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. A block square four story building. It was grim and monstrous. On the first day of school in sixth grade, at recess, which was right after lunch along with intramurals, I met guy named Jason and another lad named Lance. Although I had no idea at the time, they would be my two best friends for, most likely the rest of my life. Jason and I were sarcasticly commenting on Lance's batting job at this weeks' intramural, Softball.
Circleville is a little town about thirtymiles south of the central Ohio city and capitol, Columbus. With a population of about fiteen thousand people, it was mainly a pit stop with downtown Circleville being about four blocks long.
The sixth grade was divided into two groups: the Red team and the Black team. Unfortunately these two colors were the same colors as the highschool football team. I was on the Red team. A group of teachers consisting of Mr. Bumgarner, Mrs. Gibbs, ans Mrs. Gerhardt piloted us through the sixth grade.
Seventh grade was a little trickier. It still consisted of two teams, only these two teams were: the Plaid team and the Bad Cats. I was in the Bad Cats; Mrs. Beaver, Mr. Ross, Mr. Shaw, and Mrs. Cane pushed me along the roller coaster of seventh grade.
At the end of seventh grade I started to make all kinds of friends. Most of whom I still speak to today. Eighth grade was my favorite year at the terrifying building that we called Everts Middle School because I knew so many more people than the previous few years. To name a few, Carla, Dana, Jessica, and Sarah. Carla, Dana, Jessica, Sarah, Lance, and I hung out and were close friends for around two years. Lance and Jessica ended up dating for most of that period until tragedy struck: she had kissed Jason at a party. But that can be read about i the Lance Alderman Autobiography That Doesn't Exist, so we'll move on.
That summer Lance and I sort of seceded from the group, if you will, and became really close friends. We spent most of the summer at Jason's house playing video games and searching for the small town employment opportunities. Basically ALMOST anything we could do to earn a few extra dollars to waste it all on the newest video game or maybe buy a bike. Or we would rustle up a few quarters and play pool at the skating rink that is Circle D.
I didn't really feel like showing up the first day freshman year, but, as luck would have, there I was. The cruel stories of what seniors did to freshmen: swirlies, getting stuffed into lockers; a million thoughts were racing through my mind. All of a sudden a hand landed on my shoulder, "thwap!" "You ready to go dude?" the voice asked. I turned around to see Lancce with an ear-to-ear grin on his face, obviously pleased that he had scared the crap out of me. "Yes," I said in a tone that would have made a drill seargent cry. So off we went, to walk from Lance's house to school, which was about five blocks away.
Throughout middle school I was in the band. I played the drums because they didn't have enough equipment for me to play the guitar. We played in every single parade in Circleville for three years. My class was the first(and only as far as I know) to play in the parade at the annual Pumpkin Show. Pumpkin Show was called "The Greatest Free Show On Earth." It was basically a five day fair(school was closed) only there were contests during this time to see who had grown the biggest pumpkin over the past year. I've seen some big pumpkins. I believe that the record when I left was between 800--1,000 pounds. Pumpkin Show has been a tradition in Circleville since the 1800's. It draws in about one million people over a five-day period. There were even songs written about the festival by a famous musician named Ted Lewis. Pumpkin Show usually takes place in mid-October. I try to go any chance I get (once a year). One more thing, Circleville is the only town in the united states to have a Pumpkin Show.
The summer before my sophomore year my mother had been applying for different jobs around the country. I guess the Circleville Public Library wasn't being nice to her. She was trying to pass a levy to move the library to a bigger, better building. But, the people of Circleville are a stuborn bunch. One of the places she was pushed by my father to apply at was Racine because it was close to his parents and most of our other relatives. She even got offered a job on an island in the Pacific. Seems like a tough choice doen't it?
So, when I heard that she had been offered the job in Racine, I wanted to cry. I was so mad at them, for all the friends I had made, for all the time I had put into making the best I could out of that town, but most of all for not even mentioning it earlier so it woudn't be a surprise. Sophomore year wasn't the best year of my life as you could have probably guessed, with the lingering thought of what racine was going to be like, thinking sometimes that it really didn't matter what I did here because this was it in this town. My last few months I tried to have the most fun that I could within the parameters that i had. The limits were strict with being grounded for skipping school and all. Finally the dreaded day came. On july 2, 1999 my mother and I moved here and it stayed that way for another two months until the rest of my family could come up, pending the sale of our old house. We needed to live that way because I had started work at Main Gallery, a job with a city organization which was basically, you got paid(in my case) to remodel furniture, mostly chairs. Before I moved up here, my mo was already working here while living with my grandmother in Skokie, Illinois. She ha to make the two hour trip back and forth everyday.
As I started school at Walden, I must say I expected something competely different. But, I am not complaining about what I have experienced(mostly good things). As a matter of fact I think I've matured over the past few years. I've had to deal with some things that everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives, I just didn't want to. As far as I'm concerned, experience gained through life is evidence that you are no longer a "new kid" goin to different places, having to start over every time. At least I'll know to look for the best in where I'm going or what I'm doing.
Where I see myself now is a relatively good position in life. I going to be taking guitar lessons in the summer, I plan on taking mostly Art classes next semester at Parkside, I'm hoping to get accepted to Columbia College in Chicago or maybe even Berklee University in Boston, but I'm not sure what I want to major in as of yet. I kind of want to be a guitar teacher, but I kind of don't. Mostly I just want to be in a band that is serious about the music that they play. I've been in a couple of imitation bands so far but those were nothing like I want to do. I'm not sure if I have my sights set too high or not. Oh well. If worse comes to worst, there's always McDonald's.
I think this should clarify any thoughts, questions, or observations that you thought i wasn't aware of. :)
:: Colin 6:00 AM [+] ::