July 18, 1994 – Monday – 11:10 p.m.

What a night!!

Well, Jonathan came over around noon; we all played poker. Kristen picked me up at 3:30 p.m. and she said she heard there were parts of Forrest Gump that weren’t very clean. So all of the younger kids went to see Angels in the Outfield while us older kids (Kristen, Dana, Bradley, Glenn, Lisa, Kenny and I) went to see Forrest Gump.

Well, as I mentioned this morning in my previous entry, I’ve been a little sick and it all caught up with me during the movie. The movie, well, I’m not sure how good it was because about half way through it, I started throwing up. Kristen let me use her popcorn bag…and I puked more than I have every puked in my life.

It hurt so much.

We were sitting on the front row. I was bent over. The place was packed and people around me started moving to a few empty seats on the side of the theater. Kristen was the only one who stayed with me. My stomach was straining. It was like someone was stabbing me. The pain and hurt was so real.

Near the end of the movie I started feeling a little better. When the credits started rolling Kristen helped me stand up to walk me to the bathroom. I felt bad leaving my bag of puke there, so I picked it up to take it to the trash. When I did, since it had been sitting there for an hour soaking in vomit, the bottom of it fell out. Puke just splattered all over the front of the theater, right as everyone was standing to leave and right as the lights were coming on. The smell filled the room and everyone groaned.
Normally I would have been embarrassed like none other, but I didn’t care. I needed a bathroom. Kristen led me to one. I could hardly walk; she actually walked into the men’s bathroom and told people to get out of the way. I finally got my body on a toilet, and well, after Kenny came in and said a prayer for me, I began feeling a lot better.

I can’t remember ever feeling so good after hurting so much. Glenn was funny, he asked me if I wanted to go out for some guacamole.
Kristen brought me home. Along the way, she told me she’s never going to have kids, but I think she would make a great mother. She took such good care of me.

After I got home I tried calling Jenna and Tenielle, but they were asleep. Ginger told me to take care of myself.

And well, it all made me think. Do you think after all the pain and hurt of saying goodbye to this place, that I’ll feel much better?

It might take some time, but I think I will.
Half of my summer is over. Thirty-nine days are left.

I will work and play. I will grow and prosper. I will learn and write. I will love and hurt.
I have 39 days to say goodbye and prepare myself.

It’s been a long time since I started from scratch.



July 18, 1994 – Monday – 10:45 a.m.

I was sick yesterday so I didn’t go to church. But last night I did go to High Falls. We played volleyball and watched the video from Fishnet. Kenny brought me home and on the way, he stopped by his church. He used to live in a trailer, but the guy who let him stay there said that he had to move out because he was going to begin renting it to someone else. So, Kenny keeps most of his stuff in his car and sleeps in the attic of his church. He is like a homeless person, yet he lends me money and doesn’t want me to pay him back.

Every soul has their story.

Well, he spent the night here because Thursday night he heard a noise and thought someone else was in the church. He later found a broken window that appeared broken from the inside. He took a shower here and told me how lucky I am and he said that no one knew more about him than me.
Kristen is coming to pick me up around 3:30 p.m. and we are all going down to Aberdeen to see Forrest Gump. I know very little about this movie. I hope I will enjoy it.
I’m out of here in 40 days!

July 16, 1994 – Saturday – 10:12 p.m.

I’m at Jenna and Tenielle’s house. We just got back from youth group. Jenna wants to write something in here just for the heck of it:

Hello! Jacob, get out of your weird mood! And guess what? Your bones stick out. Bye-bye. Love you. Jenna.

Okay, well that made a lot of sense. I’ll explain my mood to you later, but first I must explain what has been going on.

Jonathan and I got home around 6:00 a.m. I didn’t unpack, I went straight to Sanford with Kevin and Marcus. Kevin was working, after breakfast Marcus and I went to church because there was some sort of women’s ministry summer fest thing and they needed us to be clowns for the kids. Jenna and Tenielle came up later. We all had fun I guess. It was good to see them.

I fell asleep near the end of it, since I was tired from driving so much. It was over around 2:00 p.m. We all went to get Kevin and then went to Jenna and Tenielle’s. I got a haircut for free and slept some more. I slept really well. Then the five of us left for youth group.

Amy was there and I got a chance to talk to her later in the evening. We talked about how we all used to be so close, but now how she hates Christi. I’ll not get into that now, since it has no purpose.

But Ryan came to pick her up and I saw her. She had just gotten off work. She said she was sweaty and she wanted me to feel how sweaty she was. I touched her face and I looked into her green eyes. It was the same Ryan, but different.

As for my mood, when we were over here at Jenna and Tenielle’s I stayed away from everyone for the simple reason that I prefer the way Jenna and Tenielle act when they are not around Kevin or Marcus. Jenna and I talked about that right before she wrote what she did and she said that she enjoys me more when it is just the three of us (Jenna, Tenielle, and myself).

I called Kristen earlier in the day. She made me feel happy. She said she would come to my church either tomorrow or the next Sunday. I tried to get a hold of Hannah, but I couldn’t. Kristen said that she tried to call me at my house because they were going to see Forrest Gump tonight. But since I told them I had youth group and since Kenny couldn’t make it, they decided to change it to Monday.

It’s hard being involved with two youth groups in two different counties, neither of which I live in. Tomorrow I must find some way to get to the High Falls Youth Group, so I can watch the video from Fishnet. It will be like reliving the best four days of my life.

Oh, Tenielle wants to write in my journal now to:

Hello, I just wanted to tell you this because you might not think it is true: Even though sometimes I don’t act like I care about you, I really do! But if you are always going to be in one of your weird moods, well, no wonder I’m not talking to you! But no matter what, I still love you. Always remember that, okay?!
Love always,


July 15, 1994 – Friday – 6:12 p.m.

Jonathan and I have decided to leave tonight around midnight. I can’t wait to get home.
Last night Jonathan and I talked over a campfire. He poured his heart out to me that night. He talked about how his greatest fear was to die without anyone loving him or caring for him. He told me how he longs to go to the stars, but he is stuck here on this little planet.

He and Vicky broke up. He met a girl here, but she lives in Georgia.

I went down Indian Creek Falls again today. This Deep Creek trip turned out a lot better than I first thought.

For almost two weeks straight, I have camped. I have enjoyed it greatly. I have learned a lot.

On, by the way, yesterday I ran into the girl who jumped the car off while I was in Franklin. It was so cool to see her here in Bryson City.

Well, I’ll soon be home, probably within the next 12 hours.

I can’t wait to see Hannah and Kristen.

Kenny and I will joke around as usual. I know this means nothing to you, but when I read this again years later, I will surely laugh:

“How much blood young man? Knee Deep!”

These two vacations are over.

Fishnet ’94 and Deep Creek ’94.

I enjoyed Fishnet a lot better.

I have 42 days of my home left. Then I will go off to a life of acting classes, term papers, community showers, new faces, and lost memories.

Dear God, help me.

July 15, 1994 – Friday – 9:30 a.m.

Last night was pretty good. When we went to Pizza Hut the youth group went too. I stood out on the ledge afterwards and watched the river flow down. I thought of the last summer and fall. I thought of how Ryan was so important to me. I thought of the winter and Jenna and Tenielle. I thought of the spring and Jenna and Tenielle. But really, I just thought of how much I grew up.

What did I do with that year?

The best thing that happened to me in that year was Fishnet ’94. Fishnet made me remember and it showed me how easy it was to meet new people and get so close to them in such a short amount of time.

Jesus hugged me at Fishnet.

But after Fishnet comes Jenna and Tenielle. When I thought no one else cared and no one else needed me, they showed me that they did. I love them both very much, and I want to watch them grow up.

But, well, you know…

After Pizza Hut we went over to the youth group’s campsite and played cards with those girls and met some new people. They had a service that night. Jonathan and I stayed to watch and listen.

The speaker is an Assemblies of God evangelist. He has heard of Pastor Steve.  Everyone was in a loving mood, and well, I was a part of it.  At this moment three girls that we met are here at our campsite.  We’re getting ready to go tubing together.


July 14, 1994 – Thursday – 2:40 p.m.

Last night we visited the youth group that was camping down a little ways. Jonathan and I went out to eat at Ponderosa and we went go-cart racing.

As for today, the sun was shining and we just returned from tubing.

I believe the reason I am here at Deep Creek is to simply say goodbye.

I’ve come here for the past ten summers, and this too must change. I can’t hold onto anything.

I must let go.

Everything is going to change for me in 1994. So I came here to say goodbye and thank you.

Knowing this, earlier today I did something I have feared for ten years. I tubed down Indian Creek Falls. I’m not a little kid anymore.
We leave from here Saturday morning. Sunday is going to be one of the greatest days of my life. Hannah and Kristen are supposed to come to church. I will see Jenna and Tenielle. That day will be almost perfect. That night I will go to the youth group and watch the video from Fishnet.

I believe tonight we will eat at Pizza Hut. I’ll be able to stand on that ledge over looking the river, reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next year.

Three days after I looked over that ledge last year I met Emily. How sad to meet and bond with such a beautiful girl during the last three hours of our trip. She was there, a few campsites down from us, the whole week we were there. Emily and I wrote for a while, but she hasn’t written recently. I wonder if I’ll conclude this trip by meeting someone amazing right before I have to leave.

July 13, 1994 – Wednesday – 7:12 p.m.

I don’t know where to begin.  So much has happened since my last entry.

Yesterday we went tubing, but then it began to rain.  I found out there was a movie theater in Franklin, a city about 30 miles away.  Jonathan said I could take his car and go.  He wanted to stay and talk to some of the girls from the youth group.  I met a few of them, but everyone I met has been a hypocrite.

The girls who were next to us were very sweet.  They were always smiling at me and staring at me.  They even took some pictures of me.

It feels good when someone notices you.

But they left this morning.

Anyway, I took Jonathan’s car out to find a movie theater in a city I’ve never been 30 miles away.  I didn’t know what movies were playing either.  And Jonathan’s car is very hard to drive.  It’s like you have no control over it.

But I made it to Franklin.  I stopped at a motel to ask for directions and they told me and also pointed out that my tire was going flat.  I took the car to a gas station and put air in the tire, then I found the movie theater.

I wanted to see Forrest Gump, but the only movies playing were I Love Trouble, Wyatt Earp, and The Lion King.

It was 5:05 p.m.  I was going to see Wyatt Earp, but that didn’t start until 7:30 p.m.  So, guess what I went to go see?  You’re right; The Lion King for the third time.

It is the most perfect movie.  It helps me realize why I am here in the world.

After the movie I went to the car, only to discover Jonathan’s battery had died.  I stopped two pretty college girls to help jump me off.  They did and I drove back to Bryson City, happy beyond my wildest imagination.


I was out alone in a strange car I wasn’t used to, going over mountains and through valleys to find a movie theater in a city I had never been to before.

And, you know what, I did it.

I had to ask for directions, I almost had a flat tire, and the car battery died, but you know what, I made it!  And throughout my upcoming years at college, as I try to make it in a strange land, with a variety of obstacles coming my way, I too will make it.

And in the end, just like Simba, I will be the king I was meant to be.