July 15, 1996 – Monday – 8:30 a.m.

Friday evening I walked alone to Wildcat Lake.  Holston Presbytery Camp is on the other side of the lake.  Vince told me to meet him at the camp at 8:00 p.m.  I spent about an hour just sitting there, swinging and relaxing.  I ran into my professor Don.  He had had a rough day.  I talked to him and picked flowers for his wife.

So, at 8:00 I headed over to the camp, but I ran into Erin and she said things weren’t over yet and for me to return at 9:00 p.m.  I walked around some more and came back, but it took another two hours after that.  Around 11:00 p.m. Vince and I finally came back over here and just talked and watched a movie.

Saturday morning I drove a shuttle bus to the Highland Games on Grandfather Mountain for Summer Programs.

Vacation Bible School started on Saturday.  I did a skit in which I played Nigel Finefellow, a safari guide.  Saturday night, myself plus Curtis, Allen, Vince, Marjorie, Erin, Wilks, and Ellen, and two other girls, went to Mel’s Diner and then we all went to see Independence Day.   Everyone loved it.  Such an adorable movie.

Anytime we are eating out, Vince likes to play a joke on me where whenever the waitress brings me my order, he shouts out, “Jacob!  Why are you eating that, you know it gives you diarrhea!”  So embarrassing, yet so funny.

Vince spent the night again that night.  Church was fun yesterday morning.  I sat with Sharon.  Her and Bob’s 21st Anniversary was on Friday.  I bought them a card.

VBS was last night as well.  I’m really enjoying myself.

Lisa talked to me last night.  She is having problems with her ex-boyfriend and she doesn’t want to come back in the fall.

July is half over.

Hard to believe

Time is flying.

I am glad.

I am sad.

July 12, 1996 – Friday – 9:10 a.m.

Tuesday night was my first free night in seven days.  Allen, Curtis, and myself went to Blowing Rock to eat at a restaurant called the Emporium.  We had a lot of fun simply talking and hanging out.  It was great to get out and be with my Christian brothers.

Wednesday night I videoed the final performance of Brigadoon.  I was on duty last night and Mike (who had transferred last semester) and two of his friends came to visit, so I spent some time talking with them.  Hopefully tonight Vince and I plus Marjorie, Erin, Ellen, and Wilks will do something together.

I have a Vacation Bible School meeting tonight as well.

The Highland Games are this weekend and I’m going to drive a van full of kids back and forth on Saturday and Sunday.

I talked to Carla on the phone yesterday.  She is Curtis’ friend in Atlanta.  While down there in March I wrote in her calendar when my birthday was; she said she would call me then.

All of the Canon Cottage girls went out dancing last night.  They were all dressed up and needed me to take pictures of them.  I did.  They were all beautiful and very sweet.  I just wish they were closer to God.

July 8, 1996 – Monday – 2:30 p.m.

So far, a very interesting day.

Last night I was on duty and after ushering for the show I made my rounds throughout back campus.  I talked with a few of the summer studies girls and as I was going through Canon Cottage I introduced myself to a new girl.  Her name is Rachel Anne.

I went to sleep, but was awoken by a loud radio outside.  I went down to discover in was Rachel Anne’s room.  I told her about quiet hours, and she apologized and turned it down.  She asked me where registration was; she didn’t know the campus that well, so I told her I would meet her at 10:00 a.m. to show her around.

I then went and spent about 40 minutes talking with Ivy and Melissa.  They gave me a doughnut.  I’ve never really talked to those girls much before, but they’re really sweet.

This morning I met up with Rachel Anne.  She wasn’t completely dressed with I knocked on the door and I wondered if that was by design, but we spent the day registering for classes, buying books and supplies and getting her post office box.  We even walked over to Nations Bank and she started a student checking account.  Most of this required extensive waiting in lines and during that time we talked.

As the day passed, I continued to watch her.  She is nearly the exact likeness of Christi, except much cuter, which I didn’t think was possible.  She is only 17-years-old.  She turns 18 on the 27th of July.  She told me about herself and how she likes to help people.  She is not a Christian, but wishes to learn more.  She was just so nice and adorable during the entire morning we spent together.  We talked about so much.  I look forward to seeing her again.

Lord, please let me be someone special to her; someone she can trust.  May she learn to trust you Father.  And may my trust in you continue to grow.

July 7, 1996 – Sunday – 6:20 p.m.

As it grew close to 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, I was tearing up ticket stubs near the entrance to the theater.  I turned to my right and saw a face I recognized; a face that also once satisfied my hunger and thirst.

She approached me, her ticket in hand.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hey, oh don’t you look nice in that vest and bow tie!”

“Thanks.”

Then she came to me and put her right arm around my waist and her head on my shoulder.  “It’s good to see you.”

“Thanks, enjoy the show.”

The show began.  Allen and I went to join Curtis in helping some folks carry luggage up some stairs.  I was paid $23.50 for an hour and a half of work.

We went to eat dinner.

Then, at 5:30 p.m., I went back to the theater to catch the end of the show and possibly someone else.  I saw her at the foot of the stage, complementing the performers.  I went down and sat at the foot of the stage knowing she was headed in that direction.  She saw me and shook my hand.

“Oh, and you did a great job as well!” she laughed.  We said our goodbyes, but in the process I gave her my phone number and told her to let me know the dates she was coming to the other shows later in the summer so I could get better seats for her.  As I wrote my number down on her playbill she said, “Thanks, and hey, I’ll also call you just to see what’s up!”

“Great!”

And I saw her smile.

July 7, 1996 – Sunday – 12:35 p.m.

A hot day so far.

Vince is doing well, and I saw Marjorie and Erin yesterday as well.  Curtis arrived.  He is trying to grow a beard; kind of funny looking.

Sharon and Laura came to the show last night.  Both beautiful as ever.  I sat behind them.

So close yet so far away.

Another winter dream.

Church was nice this morning, but I felt very lonely.

Brigadoon goes up twice today.  I’ll spend most of my day ushering.

I’ve been on duty for six days.

My theater classes are over.  I made an A in Career Management and a B in Costuming.  I start General Psychology on Tuesday.  Vacation Bible School begins Saturday.

Forty days until my 20th birthday.

Will my dreams ever come true?

Will I ever live with a lover?

What memory of the past 20 years is my favorite?

Dear God, I’m always alone, but it bothers me that I smile about it.

Perhaps my spirit knows something my mind cannot fathom.

July 6, 1996 – Saturday – 11:15 a.m.

It’s been a busy week.  Sorry I haven’t written.

I’ve been on duty since Tuesday night.  Tony, the Director of Financial Aid, asked me to watch his dog for him this week, so I’ve been sleeping over at his house on Faculty Drive while he was away.  The Dog’s name is Balki, we had fun.

Allen and I went to see Independence Day on the Fourth of July.  Great movie.  Very funny.

I rented Leaving Las Vegas and Dead Man Walking.  Good acting in Leaving Las Vegas, but a terrible movie.  Dead Man Walking was absolutely wonderful.  A perfect film.

Brigadoon has opened.  I’ve been working the box office and ushering for it.  I sold lemonade during Intermission last night and talked to a customer named Emily.

Two days ago was the first Fourth of July I haven’t spent at River Birch Shopping Center in a long time.

Fishnet is this Wednesday, but I won’t be going.

Vince just called me.  I’m going to go see him at camp.

Curtis is coming up today as well.

July 1, 1996 – Monday – 8:40 p.m.

We are beginning the seventh month of 1996.  In a little over a month and a half I will turn 20-years-old.

Allen and I walked down to see Vince at the camp on Saturday.  They are off the whole first week of July.  So he and Wilks, Erin, Majorie, and another girl were headed off to New York to stay at Vince’s house.  I wish I could have gone, but there are promises here I must keep.  Vince let me borrow his car for the week, so Saturday night I went to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Boone.  A wonderful and beautiful film, but in no way is it a cartoon for children.  I met Rachel and Paul there and sat with them.

Laura, Molly, Allen, Clifton, and a few other youth group members and I performed a skit yesterday morning.  It was the one we referred to as the “silent Russia” skit that we did a lot back at Abundant Life.  This time I was the Captain who slapped Laura, who stood up for the Lord and was killed for it.  At the end, I pointed to the Bible and then turned and pointed to the audience.  Each person I pointed to nodded yes; they would be willing to die for Jesus.

There are only two days of classes after today.  Curtis will be here this weekend.

My birthday comes during RA training again this year.  The fall semester seems to be very busy.  I have some difficult classes.  I hope to visit New York with Vince over fall break, and also go to Deep Creek with Marcus and whoever else during Labor Day.  Perhaps I’ll go to Florida with Kate over another break as well, but you never know.

A whole new group of people will be here soon.  No telling what could happen.  Ryan will even be a resident of Boone soon.

Life is good; a little lonely at times, but there is no pain.

Thank you for this life Father.