WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (1/2/13) - I wanted to write something about 2012. I wanted to talk about how it was one of the top three best years of my life. But as tends to happen, once I get to writing things often follow their own path. Instead I find myself looking back on my college career and some of the characters that popped up along the way.
Every now and then someone will enter your life for only a little while, but will leave a lasting impression.
I enrolled as a freshman at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro for the fall 1998 semester. There I was, a small town boy from a high school with 127 people and I did not know a soul. To make it worse, I’m naturally backwards. I’m not all of that outgoing and I have never made friends easily or quickly. Over the summer I had talked a few times to my new roommate, but I could tell them that we were cut from two different sheets. He was outgoing and popular, where I was neither. He was an engineering major, I was an English Lit major with a minor in communications. But there we were, thrust together by the college administration.
We got along pretty well, despite out differences. Unlike my friend John and his roommate.
John and I met our first day on campus, and found that although we didn’t know each other, we shared several connections. He was related to a business owner in Providence that everyone knows, and one of his best friends in high school was my first cousin. I was a little bit country, and John was a little bit 70’s rock. He was outgoing, but in a strange way that complemented my backwardness. John would go on to be one of the best friends I would make in college, and we would share a lot of ups and downs through the years.
His roommate was an all American football star from Florida, who for some reason had chosen to play ball at little DII Non-scholarship KWC rather than at a big named DI school. This guy didn’t go to class and he kept late hours. One night he showed up at three in the morning with two girls, who proceed to sit on John who was slumbering beneath the covers on his bed. That sort of thing happened a lot to John. Sometime his roommate would show up in the early hours of the morning and start popping popcorn.
John and I soon joined the same Fraternity and got new roommates. The next spring, following an excellent performance by John’s former roomie during an otherwise pitiful football season, the US Marshals showed up and hauled the old roomie off to Florida on some outstanding warrants. It seemed he thought he could fly under the radar at a small school, and he might have, had he not played so well that season.
In our early college years John and I grew close out of necessity. In our Fraternity I think the upperclassmen looked at us like their pet rednecks (although I really never saw John as a redneck). We would suggest ideas and they would go on as if they hadn’t even heard us.
I was the straight man to John’s status as comic relief. I don’t know if there was anything he didn’t do just to get a laugh. Once a group of us were in Denny’s at about two in the morning and had been waiting a half hour on a table. John proceeded to bus a table, take a bite out of a half eaten sandwich then produced a package of Mentos and gave us the “fresh maker” pose from the old commercials as he sat down.
Later, when we were the upper classmen and I had been elected as Prior (or President) of our Fraternity, John was a guy who I could always count on. On more than one occasion we literally went toe-to-toe over some issues. One specific was when a bunch of our guys wanted to not invite a girl who hung out with our group to a party. I was on the majority side, but as usual, John always remembered the little guy...or gal in this case. After nearly coming to blows, he won, because he was right.
John has moved away and works for the IRS now, and I wonder if he entertains them as much as he did those of us who knew him in school. I am comfortable knowing that, although John might be a little crazy, there is at least one honest and fair person working at the IRS.
When you least expect it life drops people in on you right when you need them.
What I’m Reading
I actually read this back in the summer, but as the first movie trailers have been released I thought I would go ahead and offer my little review of the book.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a 2006 post-apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks, the son of comedic legend Mel Brooks.
It is a follow-up to his 2003 book, The Zombie Survival Guide. Rather than a grand overview or narrative, World War Z is a collection of individual accounts in the form of first-person anecdotes, written in the form of a documentary, just like hundreds of World War II films I’ve watched on The History Channel.
Brooks plays the role of an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, who published the report a decade after the ten-year Zombie War.
Most accounts say that World War Z was inspired by The Good War, an oral history of World War II by Studs Terkel.
According to most movie news, Brad Pitt’s character will be a U.N. agent attempting to stop the war rather than report on it.
If you plan to watch the film, I suggest you read the book first.
J-E News Editor
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