June 29, 1996 – Saturday – 10:15 a.m.

Yesterday I worked in the costume shop for four hours on my final exam project.  I ate a small lunch and then worked in the box office until five o’clock.  Allen’s birthday is today, so last night Allen, Kate, Kate’s mom, Sharon, and I went to The Farm House.  The food was good, but very expensive.  A lot of the same people were working from when I was there last Saturday.  They came and sang to Allen for his birthday, we had dessert and then went to the Music Parlor and listened to the singers.

One girl, who came up to give us a special hello, sang “I Dream A Dream” from Les Miserables.  Then she smiled at me the whole time she sang “I’m proud to be an American.”

Afterwards, we walked around the park in Blowing Rock, then took the parkway home.  We went to Sharon’s and Allen and Kate and I went swimming in their indoor pool.  I totally embarrassed myself in front of Bob, because I’m pretty pale and when I took my shirt off I said, “I’m as white as balls!” out loud, totally forgetting I wasn’t only in the presence of teenagers.  Oh well!

Laura was out with some guy, but she eventually returned and looked as beautiful as ever.  Allen and I wonder if every girl we ever meet in the future will helplessly be compared to Laura in our minds.  I suppose that isn’t fair to all the future women we meet, but for now, I don’t mind the thought.  Laura deserves to be at the top.

I walked up from the pool to their house.  The moon was full.  I looked at the silhouette of the mountains against the bright sky.  Oh, that house, the view, the love, I want to be a part of it all.  I want it more than anything.

For as long as that family lives there, it is the most perfect corner of the planet.

 

June 26, 1996 – Wednesday – 12:35 p.m.

Banner Elk Police came last night and questioned Mike regarding the break-in.  I talked to him about it earlier.  But Mike wasn’t here.  He didn’t do it.  Banner Elk Police found that out the hard way.  They searched his room, etc., but he came out clean.

I knew Mike couldn’t be that stupid.  It upset him that he was falsely accused.

A week from now, the first session of summer classes will be over.

It’s almost July of 1996.  Where has the time gone?

There will be no Fishnet this year.  Perhaps Deep Creek will happen for Labor Day.

It’s good to be in this area.  I wish I could see Vince more often.  Allen and I stick close together to keep our faith alive.  I don’t see Charlie as much.

We called Dan.  He’s fine.

Curtis should be up here soon.

Monday night we played capture the flag with the Orientation students.  I met a dude named Josh who will be in 205 McAlister.  He has a physical problem where he looks like a little kid.  He’s 18 years old, but he looks and sounds 12.  It’s like he never went through puberty.  He is so cool and really funny.  We’re already good friends.

In a month and a half a new school year will begin.

I often look forward to the future.  But life is not in the future.  Life is now.

June 24, 1996 – Monday – 5:45 p.m.

I saw her.

Just now.

I was eating creamed corn in the cafeteria.

Then there she was.

I stood up.

I walked towards her.

She stared at me.

“I’ve met you,” she said.

“Jacob…from The Farm House.”

“Oh, yeah!”

She grabbed my hand.

“You were videotaping.”

Conversation was made.

Sherry watched from a distance.

“Introduce me to some of your friends.”

She met Alison, Craig, and Allen.

I told her thank you for the cake and drink.

“I know, you must have been starving.”

It’s orientation.

She is here.

On this campus.

At this moment.

June 24, 1996 – Monday – 12:30 p.m.

The last section of this long book is beginning. The book itself began over seven months ago in 1995, the day of our first snow.

Yesterday I videotaped more of the Blairs’ 50th Anniversary. He paid me $70 along with a lot of wisdom about marriage and family life.

We had rehearsal that night at church. Laura did a very nice job. After the rehearsal, she and Allen and I went to the high school to run on the track. We had a lot of fun. I ran two and a half miles while she and Allen ran three. When we got to her house, Bob and Sharon were out on the porch. They said Laura come up the driveway way too fast. They both overreacted and really embarrassed her in front of Allen and I. She ran down the driveway, upset. She was probably going to her crying place.

Time passed. We all stayed outside and Hannah came out, so we swung on their swing and then went to catch fireflies. Sharon sent Allen to find Laura.

It turns out that Allen didn’t find her, but Laura found and scared Hannah and I as we were looking for fireflies. I sat next to her amongst the Christmas trees. She was crying and she poured her heart out to me. I put my arm around her and put my head on her precious shoulder. We talked. A simple, yet complex teenager. She is growing older and what happened was simply a part of life. Bob and Sharon felt really bad and they apologized for overreacting. We all talked as a family later on. Everything was fine.

Allen talked to me when we got back. He is infatuated with Laura. I told him he’d better let Vince know.

“But, can you ask for more in a girl?” he pondered out loud.

“No, you can’t.” I said, with a thought of early morning in my mind.

June 22, 1996 – Saturday – 11:05 p.m.

Remember today.

I awoke this morning and did some work for summer programs.  I played Nintendo, ate lunch, and programmed a “Happy Anniversary” subtitle into the camcorder for the taping I was doing later today.

Rachel let me borrow her car and I left at 3:00 p.m., headed towards Blowing Rock.  I got a little lost, but I finally found The Farm House around 4:00 p.m.  It was a very nice dining and entertainment restaurant.  I set up in the private dining area.  Other members of this huge family celebrating Mr. & Mrs. Blair’s 50th Wedding Anniversary were setting up as well.  A waitress/singer of The Farm House was passing out sparkling grape drinks to anyone who desired one.  She came to me and asked me.

“Sure, thank you.” I said.

“Napkin?” she asked.

“Yeah, thanks.”

The night continued.  For six hours I videotaped.  I taped greetings, opening of presents, toasts, small talk, presentations, reactions, everything.  I was surrounded by people I did not know at all.  Mr. Blair had beautiful granddaughters.  One cried as she read a poem she wrote for him.  A beautiful princess, telling her granddaddy all the love she had ever known.

Mr. Blair’s sons and daughters were there.  In their past they all used to go camping together as a family, so tonight they sang old campfire songs.  I sang along as I taped.

Such a big family, celebrating a simple life lived for God.

The singers of The Farm House came in during dinner.  They came one right after another.  One guy sang “Bring Him Home,” from Les Miz.  Another sang, “The Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera, and yet another girl sang, “Memory” from Cats.

Everything was beautiful and perfect.  And me, a stranger, was allowed to come along, just to observe.

A video was shown, cut together from old home movies that showed their marriage, the birth of their children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren.  Everyone in that room tonight began with that man found a married a woman.  And the two of them had met while attending the same college.  Could it all really be that simple?

I began to get really hungry.  While everyone ate, I videotaped.  But after about five hours, the same girl who brought me the drink, brought me a piece of cake, and some water, along with another glass of sparkling grape juice.

It tasted so wonderful.  I was so thankful.

Mr. Blair, including some others, gave a toast.  All spoke wise words.  Each person was thankful for this couple, whom I could see truly loved each other.  For 50 years their love had been growing.

I envy that man.

I desire to be like him, to be the father of such a great and wonderfully huge family.

After the toast there was a little dancing and then I began to pack up.  It was close to 10:00 p.m.  I spoke with Mr. Blair and told him thank you for making me a part of all of this.  We spoke a little more.  I am meeting them tomorrow at their church here in Banner Elk.  There will be a small ceremony then as well.

While I was packing up, the girl returned, “So are you a friend of the family?”

“No, I don’t know any of these people, Mr. Blair ran into me and asked me to do this.  I go to Lees-McRae College, I’m their videographer.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“You go to Lees-McRae.”

“Yep.”

“That’s so cool.  I’m transferring there in the fall.”

“You are?”

“Yeah.”

“Where do you go now?”

“I did go to the School of Arts and Music in Miami, but I’ve already transferred.”

“Wow, to major in Musical Theater?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s great, I’m a theater major, but I don’t sing, I’m just a straight actor.”

Then she looked deep into my eyes and it really felt like she saw me and only me.   “Cool.”

She said she was looking forward to seeing me again at LMC.  We shook hands.

She told me her name.

May dusk never come.

 

June 22, 1996 – Saturday – 10:00 a.m.

No new clues to the mysteries break-in.  Mike hasn’t returned.  I did call Kevin and Marcus Thursday night.  They’re doing great.  I miss my two brothers.

Today I have to work a little for Summer Programs, and then I’m going to Blowing Rock and video tape someone’s 50th wedding anniversary.  I am looking forward to it.  A huge group of family and friends that I don’t know at all.  Perhaps one beautiful girl will take the time to notice me.

I haven’t seen Vince this weekend yet.

Yesterday we had a field trip for Costuming class.  It was fun.  We met up with Joey in Charlotte and ate dinner with him.

I hope Vince tries to come by.

June 19, 1996 – Wednesday – 11:45 p.m.

Went to classes.

Ate lunch.

Ran box office.

Went to dinner.

Went to a Vacation Bible School meeting.

Went to church.

Came home.

And Alison told me that a girl’s room was broken into a note was left there with weird handwriting saying, “I’m watching your every move.”

This girl thought that Mike did it because he acts so crazy.  Just yesterday, he was writing Satanic symbols on student’s door, including this girl’s.  This was done between 6-8 p.m., during the Study Hall.  However, Al saw Mike leave at 4:30 p.m., and Mike wasn’t at dinner.  The other new guys were at the study hall as well.  They took some of the signs Mike put up in the hallway here in Bentley and tried to match the handwriting.  The O’s were very similar.

The arrows point to Mike.  Nothing was stolen, the girl is okay, but Mike seemed not to be around.  I hope Mike did it, because if not, then we have some other stranger that the arrows don’t point to.

Scary, huh?