April 14, 1996 – Sunday – 4:30 p.m.

Friday night after dinner I videotaped Suzanne’s recital.  It was pretty.  When I got back to the dorm, I watched X-Files with Vince and then we got some Subway and rented Ace Ventura 2 and Spaceballs.

In the morning, at 5:30 a.m., we got up to go to Carowinds.  Vince came along.  The day was beautiful!  We did the drop zone and a few roller coasters.  At 3:00 p.m. we got in the crowd waiting to enter the Paladium where the concerts would take place.  I kept looking around for my brother, and then it immediately seemed like hundreds of others just immediately joined the crowd.  I was surrounded and it was so tight.  Then it started to rain.  We were stuck in a tight crowd of strangers, I couldn’t get out, and my brother was no where in sight.

Eventually, they opened the entrance gate and I was literally pushed forward by the swarm of people behind me.  The crowd was eventually stopped by another gate, so we were still outside in the rain.  I was surrounded and squashed by wet people.  The whole front part of my body was being pushed up against this large woman’s backside.  I was so sure she could just feel my balls against her butt cheeks.  So embarrassing.  My hand was on some girl’s leg, I couldn’t move it at all.  Someone’s hand was on my butt.

It was insanely awkward, but kind of fun at the same time.  And I was in that position for another hour.

After they finally opened the gate and let us all in, we found some decent seats.  I saw and talked with the High Falls youth group, Lisa, Kristen, Tony, etc.  They gave the greatest hugs.  My brother eventually found me and I met his friend Rudy.

I sat with Vince, Laura, and Kim during the concert, and man, for three hours we rocked the Carolina’s with Audio Adrenaline and DC Talk.  Such a blessing.  Vince was shocked at how much fun Christianity could be.

When it was over, I found all my old friends again and hugged them all.

Christians were all around us.  It was a great, great night.  I mean a truly, truly great night!

September 25, 1994 – Sunday – 9:24 a.m.

Yesterday has to be one of the most amazing days I have ever experienced.  Jeni and Tracey and I arrived at Carowinds at a different time than Charlie and his gang, so we weren’t really with them throughout the day.  The people in front of us had an extra ticket, so Tracey got in for free.  The traffic was so intense that we got there after eleven o’clock, so I wasn’t there to meet the High Falls youth group at the front gate.

We rode the Vortex first then went to see Paramount on Ice.  We found Rachel and her friend before the show.  Before it started there was this guy with a microphone who went around to a bunch of audience members and picked on them.  He started picking on Tracey, saying she was cute and how he wanted to kiss her and stuff.  Then he looked at me and said, “Hey, you look like a macho kind of guy.  Is this your girlfriend sitting here next to you?”

“Yes.”

Then he said, “You could probably stand up right here and say ‘KISS ME’ and all the girls would run to you and kiss you, wouldn’t they?”

So he had me stand up and shout into the microphone “KISS ME!”  And guess who kissed me?  Not Jeni, but the guy with the microphone, right on the cheek.  I was so embarrassed.

We ate lunch and that is when I saw Lisa.  She hugged me and I found out that Marcus and Kevin were there.

Kevin found me in during the White Heart concert.  He hugged me.  Kim was with him, she hugged me too.  I introduced him to Jeni.  We watched White Heart together and then Jeni and I walked around.

The whole day she kept looking at me and smiling.  I told her I loved it when she looks at me that way.  I also told her that she has pretty eyes.  She said that she simply likes looking into my eyes.

Throughout the day I found Tony, Leslie, and Kristen.  I hugged them all and the only thing I could think about was Fishnet when I saw them.

Audio Adrenaline was there and I enjoyed them the most.  It began raining as the sun went down, and Jeni and Tracey and I left after the Audio Adrenaline concert.  But on the way out I ran into Marcus.  He hollered my name when he saw me and just grabbed ahold of me and shook me.  Since we were leaving I couldn’t talk long.  He told Jeni to take care of me.

We got soaked on our way to the car and then discovered that Jeni’s battery had died.  Luckily, it only took us about 15 minutes to find a cop in the parking lot and he jumped us off.  We drove north on I-77 and got lost and ended up in Winston-Salem.  We asked for directions twice.  We finally got onto 421 and Jeni, being desperate to get back home, was going about 80 miles an hour.  Yep, we were pulled over and she got a ticket.  I felt so sorry for her.  She had never gotten a ticket before.

By the time we got to Boone it was really foggy.  She couldn’t see and said that she just wanted to go home, get out of the car, and cry.  I told her she could have my shoulder to cry on.

When we finally got back to Lees-McRae it was almost two in the morning.  I kissed her goodnight, more than once.

I have more to write about yesterday, but Jeni and Tracey and I are going to church together.  I’ve got to get ready.

July 7, 1994 – Thursday – 6:45 a.m.

I’m at Fishnet!  We got here yesterday afternoon around 2:30 p.m.  The ride up was amazing.  I’m having so much fun.

The people I came here with are so friendly.  Their names are Kenny, Lisa, Tony, Leslie, Bradley, Dana, Kim, Hannah, Glen, Kristin, and some other girl.

Yesterday after we set up camp, we sat around and ate.  I went to the concerts and praise & worship last night.  After that a storm came up and blew down our tarp.  It started to rain, so I slept in the van.  Thank God, I was dry.

There is a whole world in front of me and with Jesus at my side I can do anything.

Time to help make breakfast….

May 1, 1994 – Sunday – 4:00 p.m.

Not many people were at church this morning.  They were all sleeping.

I don’t really know where to begin.  On the way to Carowinds, I sat with Scott some and then with Jenna some.  Some people rode in cars, but I was on the bus.  The people I went around with were Jenna, Tenielle, Wayne, Kiesha (Jenna and Tenielle’s friend), Joseph, Joel, Jonathan, Sara, and Scott.  I believe that was all.  We did the craziest things.  We would point up in the air and all the people who would walk by would look up, and there would be nothing there.

So funny.

Everyone acted “Er.”  Er, by the way, is a word Brandon came up with that means totally whacked.  Jenna kept on giving me wedgies. We didn’t really meet many new people.  I talked to this small girls chorus a little, but that was all.

When we were standing in line under the swings, I asked little Joseph if he had ever read Under the Swings by Seymour Butts.  The boy immediately busted out laughing and kept saying, “See more butts!  See more butts!”  Everyone was looking at him.

We did the George things a few times, where we would just shout out George’s name and point.  George is sort of an imaginary friend of the whole youth group.  A bit of an inside joke.

Jenna kept on tapping strangers on the shoulder, they would turn around and the she would turn and walk the other way.

The only concerts I went to were Cindy Morgan and Petra.  I got Cindy Morgan’s autograph on a napkin.  She shook my hand too!

Petra was awesome!  You can’t get any better than them.  I was with Tim, Kevin, and Sherry at the concert.  Everyone else was sitting in the back.  Thankfully, we were near the front.

On the way home, I sat with Scott.  We were both in Er moods and laughed the whole way home.

Scott and I went down the water pipes in a tube together.  Since Scott is really big and I’m really skinny, we about flipped.  

Dang!  I had a good time.  It’s good to be alive!

When Cindy Morgan shook my hand, I told her my favorite song of hers was “I Will Be Free.”  She said, “Oh yes, if we would have had more time, I would have sung that.”

She is a beautiful woman.

April 30th, 1994!

One of the best days of my life.

One year after Veronica and I saw “Into the Woods.”

Two years since Shurby came and had his first revival service at our church.

What will the next April 30th bring?  Where will I be?  Whom will I be with?

Will I be at my home here in Mt. Vernon Springs, North Carolina?  I call it my home, but sometimes I feel as if my home is truly somewhere else.

Will I be at my church?  A building full of so many found memories.  My church often feels more like my home than my own house.

Well, time to do the dishes before I go back for the evening service.

April 26, 1994 – Tuesday – 7:00 a.m.

It is in the morning.  I missed the bus, but mom will take me to school.

Jonathan is picking Marcus and I up after school and we are going to the Carman concert.  I don’t know if any of the other young people from church are going.  It will be fun.  The last time I went to a Carman concert was in September of 1992 with Jason, Anne, Christi, Ryan, Amy, Cheryl and Jonathan.

Jonathan flirted.  What else is new?

I liked Ryan then.  That was long ago.  Brandon was even there, but we went earlier because his mom was signing the concert (you know, sign language).  It was a lot of fun.

Two months ago I saw DC Talk in concert.  In four days I will see Petra and Cindy Morgan.

Thank you Lord.

Oh, Sunday night I told Jenna and Tenielle a joke.  And the three of us all laughed together.  Perhaps we will laugh together again.

I checked and Lees-McRae College is 170 miles from where I live.  Kevin’s college is 54 miles from here.  He comes home every weekend.  It’s kind of like he never even left.  I won’t have the same story.  I doubt I’ll hardly ever come home.

February 27, 1994 – Sunday – 8:00 a.m.

Right now I’m in a little town called Mint Hill near Charlotte, NC.  Everyone is still asleep.

I’m lying on a fold out sofa bed.  Lying next to me is a 29-year-old guy named Dakota.  He is from Alaska.  Next to me on the floor is my brother Kevin.  Also on the floor is a guy named Robert and on the sofa next to him is Marcus.  Robert and I are the only one’s awake.  He is reading his Bible and I am writing.

Saturday morning, Marcus and I went to Band Practice.  I was in a good mood because it was going to be a great day.  Marcus was too, but Megan sure wasn’t.  One of her friends died of cancer last week and she was bummed, so she wanted to make sure everyone else was.  She told me off, because she interpreted my happiness as being obnoxious.  I was bummed afterward, but once we left and got away from her, we found our joy again.  I guess you can’t blame her though.

I had to go to Wal-Mart and pick up my contacts, but they hadn’t come in yet.

During Band Practice, Cheryl invited me to go Ice Skating with her, Ryan, and Amy.  They were going to go to Cary and Megan told me that it was 15 minutes away from Fayetteville.  I thought that was a little far-fetched.  When we got there, there was a long line (probably because everyone still had Olympic fever).  Well, once I found out that Fayetteville was much farther away, Marcus and I left in order to get to Fayetteville by one o’clock.  We found our way there by I-95.

It’s later.  11:34 p.m. on the same Sunday.

Let’s see, so Marcus and I got to Fayetteville by I-95 and we easily found Methodist College.  Once we got there we packed our stuff in this guy’s car and headed for Charlotte.  The two guys are in the FCA and Bible Study at Methodist College.  The guy driving was Robert.  He was brought up in a strong Christian environment.  He’s from the beach, he’s a Freshman and loves the Lord, but he is sometimes too serious.  Marcus and Kevin and I always joke around and he would look at us weird, but he is cool, friendly, and you’ve got to hand it to him, he’s got it together.

The older guy was Dakota.  He is really cool; more on our level.  He and I got along great.  By the way he talks, he is going to try and set me up with his 17-year-old sister.  He showed me a picture of her.  She is beautiful.

We were all going to meet these people in Charlotte that they know from NC State University.  One girl came from Charlotte, so we all stayed at her parents house after the concert.  It was awesome!  There were three groups: Out of Eden, Audio Adrenaline, and, of course, DC Talk.

Audio Adrenaline was an alternative Christian band.  They were great.  They sang a song called “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Bang Your Head!”  Then DC Talk came on.  Everything was perfect!  I can’t explain it.

These people from Raleigh that we met were rich.  The girl who lived in Raleigh was named Christine and her house was amazing!

After the concert we went to eat at IHOP.  I ate strawberry pancakes and afterward’s we went to Christine’s house.

I’m tired so I’ll tell you about Sunday later.

This was one of the best weekend’s of my life.  But it wouldn’t have been as good if I didn’t spend time with Jenna and Tenielle on Friday night.

December 11, 1993 – Saturday – 10:26 p.m.

Things are weird.  I’m a little disappointed in myself.  I’ll try to explain the best I can.

We’ll start with tonight.

We had singing practice this morning, but youth group met at 2:00 p.m. instead of tonight, which meant I had my Saturday evening free.  So, tonight I went to my school’s concert choir Christmas performance.  Marcus was in it.  Everyone did a great job.

I was sitting with Nate, my little brother.  Before it all started, I turned and looked at the audience.  I saw David and Stephanie, a couple from my school.  They were having a good time.  I turned back around.

I was with Nate.

I felt alone.

A girl entered my mind.

This girl was Tenielle.  I told you about her right?  The girl from New Jersey.  Well, I thought about last night; I was at Mr. Gatti’s.  A lot of people were there, but Ryan, Amy, and Cheryl weren’t there.  Guess who was?  Tenielle, Jenna, Sunny, and their friend Sharlene (Wayne’s old girlfriend).

I was supposed to pick up Wayne and Shane (Sharlene’s brother) but I didn’t drive (mom wouldn’t let me because of the weather), so I came with Jonathan and Vicky instead.

So once I got there I saw the four girls sitting at their table and I went up to them.  They said, “Hey Dude!” mockingly.  I told them that I couldn’t to get Wayne and Shane.  They said they had ordered a pizza for them, so they had better show up.  I talked to Scott and he and I went to pick them up, but they were at a birthday party and didn’t come anyway.

Anyway, during the last hour of the thingamajig, everyone had left the restaurant except for our youth group, so we just took the place over and played some games.  One game we played required being in a circle.  I was sitting next to Sharlene but later Tenielle and Sharlene switched and she was sitting by me.

The game we played was “This is a what?”  It’s so fun.  We had to take an object and pass it around in a particular way:

Person A:  This is a coin.

Person B:  A what?

Person A:  A coin.

Person B:  A what?

Person A:  A coin.

Person B:  Oh, a coin.

And then B would tell C while A was telling B something new.  And on and on it goes.

But anyway, I would turn to Tenielle and say, “This is a coin.”  She would look deep into my eyes and I looked into hers and she’d say: “A what?”

The game went on and on.  And we laughed our brains out.  Everyone was messing up and getting confused.  

One of the objects was a sheet of paper and Tenielle got tongue tied and called it a “slut”.  She laughed so hard she roared a deep stomach growl.  Oh man.  It was amazing.  The whole time her leg was touching my leg.

One time, she even reached over, grabbed my hand and just licked it.  I have no idea why, but I’m also not complaining.

So, back to the choir concert, I was just sitting there, alone with my little brother and she was on my mind.  All I kept seeing in my mind was her face and those big bright eyes.

Then the concert was over and Marcus and I went back stage so he could get his stuff.  Marcus did an amazing job and everyone kept coming up to him and complementing him.  I wanted to have that kind of attention, but I’m not sure I have the goods to be in the concert choir.  

This was Marcus’s first year at Central and he’s doing great.  It’s my last year at Central and I’m only now beginning to break out of my shell of shyness.

I don’t know how to play the piano, but today I bought the sheet music for Canon in D.  I will learn how to play it.

I don’t like being shy.  I’m going to change.

At youth group this afternoon, Tenielle sat a few rows behind me.  While Shurby was speaking to someone in the back, I would always turn around to look, and it never failed, my eyes would catch hers and she would always be looking right at me.

But remember Jacob, only friends.

Only friends.

December 9, 1993 – Thursday – 11:01 p.m.

Tonight I went to Nana’s christmas concert at her school.  It was wonderful and she did a great job!

I brought my huge Les Miz painting to show her.  She loved it and said she wanted it.

But I think I’m going to keep it.

Of all my art work, I will keep that one for myself.

I gave her a ride home.

She had to talk to me about her problems she is having with her boyfriend.  She was almost in tears, and Nana hardly ever cries.

Tomorrow, I work again and then after that I’m going to Mr. Gatti’s in Sanford.  The youth group is having an after-basketball get-together since it is a home game.

Saturday will be the usual, I guess.  Sunday we have a special event in Children’s church.  And also, my high school’s Christmas concert is at 3:00 that afternoon.  Marcus is singing in it.

Christmas break starts a week from tomorrow.

1993 has flown by.  Which means 1994 will fly by too.

I wish time would slow down.  Just a little bit.