Newspaper clippings from my keepsake box:
- Glossary of Grunts o For a while, I pretended to be a secretary for my dad's farm with my mom. I cut this out to hang on the cork board above my desk. It hung there long after I gave up the "job." Eventually I took it down and saved it because it's still hilarious to me. I love Zits, it's my favorite in the Sunday comics.
- "With their horns aglow..." o This was from a Christmas parade that we did my junior year. Mom saved it because I was friends with the guys in the picture. I saved it because I wanted to remember how much I hated parades. - Westside pep band o The guy in the middle, playing the drums, was my first boyfriend. We had already broken up by the time it was taken, but my mom insisted that I would want it someday. I guess she convinced me, because here it is.
- Butch Blevins obituary o Butch Blevins was the father of a fellow bandmate. He was very active in helping the band get ready for competitions, throw fundraisers, and was our biggest fan. He passed away in a motorcycle accident the summer before my junior year. We were all heartbroken and attended the visitation together. Butch's family made the entire band honorary pall-bearers.
As long as I can remember, I have loved horses. I had collections of horse figurines, took horseback riding lessons, and cherished everything in the name of horses. My parents knew this and would cut out clippings of horse related stories for me that I saved in my scrapbook. These collections were a substitute for having my own horse until I had to move from California to Arkansas. I was so adamant about not moving to Arkansas (at the age of 12) that I told my dad I would not move to Arkansas unless he bought me a horse. As crazy as that sounds, we moved to Arkansas in the summer of 1995 and by December of 1995 I had my horse, Stillion. Now Stillion is 20 and I am 31.
My newspaper clipping is an obituary of my close friend that passed away at the age of 15. She was in a car wreck and was thrown from the vehicle. I placed the obituary in a frame with a drawing I made of her so I could remember her appearance. I miss her dearly.
Cady MacNamara and I were childhood neighbors who were also very close. I'm uncertain if I will ever move past her death, it impacted me so much. Even though she's gone she comes to my mind daily. When we were little we would catch butterflies together, and now that she's gone it feels as if I see them everywhere. Some moments the butterflies would land on or float near me for a couple of minutes. Symbolically, I feel it's her way to keep in touch with me.
I remember vividly the night my mother called me from the Intensive Care Unit of St. Bernards. She was crying and I could barely understand that a co-worker's son had been brought in from an accident and was close to death. He was brain dead and there was nothing that could be done to save his life. I comforted her and went back to bed after we were done talking on the phone.
The next morning, my best friend Megan called and began the conversation with "guess who died last night?" I immediately thought of all our friends and wondered who it was, so I asked her. "Jake West." That was all she said. Jake West was a few grades above us in high school, he was well liked, and he was the first openly gay person I had ever seen in person in my life. He was a model of how to be brave and be yourself for me. Though we never talked or interacted in any way, I felt so much respect and admiration for him, things I would never have the chance to let him know.
The newspaper clipping I present is coverage of his wreck with a picture of his torn and twisted vehicle. Though it is a sad reminder, it is also a treasured reminder of this person who was so very important to me.