May 31, 1999 – Monday – 9:00 a.m.

It is the last day of May.  I attended my first ever prom Saturday night.  It was a truly wonderful evening.  Christin and I and some of her friends ate out at Lock’s Point and the dance itself was awesome.  I really had fun, despite the fact that some of those teens dancing looked like they were trying to have sex with clothes on while standing up.  That was gross to see.  We went to the after-prom party and didn’t get to her friend Allison’s house until five in the morning.  The dad cooked everyone breakfast.  I don’t think I would have enjoyed my own prom if I went to it five years ago, but I enjoyed this one at the age of 22.

I still went to Sunday school and church, but then slept most of the afternoon.  Kimberly and Christin came over after church last night and I introduced them to Les Miserables.

Classes end in two weeks and then I’ll begin my Master’s Commission journey.

It just occurred to me that since I’ve come to Regent I may not have explained the other people I have come across.  Of course there is David, who is the youth pastor at Parkway Temple.  He’s 27 and a very good friend.  He’s my mentor and he helps keep me balanced.  His brother Chris, who just moved here from South Africa, is 22 and plays guitar.  He’s become a part of the church and we’ve hung out a couple of times.  Last Thursday we went to see Star Wars.

Kerstin is my friend from Germany.  She is my age.  She talks to me about boys in her life.  She feels that I understand her, but also makes it known that she only wants us to be friends, despite the fact that we play this flirting game with each other.

Brian is a couple of years older than me, yet many times I feel as though I am his mentor.  We used to only talk movies, but our conversations have recently moved onto other topics.

Nicole is 25.  She’s from Atlanta and will one day make the perfect Italian mother once she finds the right guy.  She says her body is screaming at her to have a baby now.  Wow! She’s so beautiful, but she feels like a big sister to me.  Her body shape is so similar to Sarah’s that I often just want to hug her, but try to resist the urge.

Then there’s the other Chris, the theater major who just turned 26.  He’s never had a girlfriend and he’s crazy about Kerstin.  He grew up with all sisters, and he says that has made me very careful around women.  He has a mind for missions and has done much work for Teen Mania.

The whole Hampton Roads area here feels like a melting pot since there’s such a military presence.  It feels like a mix of both northern and southern cultures all thrown into one big suburb.  It’s a very clean region thanks to the high state taxes.  Evidently a lot of people work here, but will live just over the North Carolina line, just to avoid the taxes.  Banner Elk was an easily definable mountain village, but Hampton Roads is a small materialistic version of America.

Nevertheless, at the moment, it is home, and memories are being made.  I’m very happy to know I will live here in the time that I will.  It’s teaching me how to love others and to raise my future children.

Goodbye May.  Hello summer of 1999.

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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.

 

September 3, 1994 – Saturday – 10:35 a.m.

I can’t believe it’s already September.  A week ago, I spent my last day back home.

I got a part in Once Upon A Mattress.  I’m the 2nd Knight.  I sing and dance and have three lines.  I sing in about four or five songs.  It’s a small part for sure, but it suits me greatly.

Thank you Lord.

Charlie has left for the weekend.  James is still here though.

Thursday night we had a Bible study.  Charlie leads it.  Besides me, there are four other girls in it:  Christy, Glenda, Soco, and a freshman girl named Olivia.  Olivia is a dance major.  When she sees me on campus, she always says hi.  She is really beautiful and is going to go to Heaton Christian Church, the same church I’m going to.

Christy is supposed to pick me up tomorrow since Charlie is out of town.  I feel like I’m the only student here without my own car.

My Friday nights and Saturday nights are free, so I’m going to try and get a job somewhere.

My homework assignment for Acting I is to do a random good deed.  That’ll be fun.

It’s September now.

Once Upon A Mattress opens in October.

The Bible study group is going to try and see Steven Curtis Chapman in concert soon.

I have a new family here.

And in four years, I’m pretty sure it will hurt to leave.