Geek Squad

16 April 2004

Though I was fairly well integrated with my classmates in grade school, by the time I reached junior high I had gravitated toward a clique of geeks. Junior high is a time of cliques. I spent all of high school striving to transcend these cliques and never quite succeeded; all I did was alienate my existing friends. (Fortunately, college offered a fresh start.)

During my recent “clean and purge” binge, I took time to browse through my old yearbooks. I thought’d be fun to scan in some of the old photos. The birthday entry for Denise came of that, as did last week’s collection of my school pictures. I also scanned in pictures of all my geeky friends.

You might remember some of these goofballs from previous entries such as TAG Science (which was followed by a sequel of sorts, Cassie).

Our little clique comprised:

David Carlson
Dave and I were best friends from fifth to eighth grades. We lived close enough to do a lot of stuff together. And we did. We played D&D, we went hydrotubing, we argued the merits of comic books (I liked Marvel, he liked DC), we played computer games together on our VIC-20s. Later, we listened to music together. (The first time I heard Michael Jackson’s Thriller was in Dave’s room.) Dave and I had a falling out in high school. Or, more precisely, I underwent a drastic change, became (as Dave puts it) “a Bible-thumping sheep” and discarded old friends. For a time, we hated each other. We’ve patched things up over the last decade, though, and now we do geeky stuff again. Dave is a lawyer operating out of Salem. (For a time, he was the “youngest partner in the state”.) Dave’s a regular commenter here, though he thinks weblogs are an exercise in narcissism.

Andrew Parker
Andrew and I were in Mrs. Onion’s first grade class. We weren’t geeks then, of course; we were squirrely little munchkins, just like all the other boys. As we grew, I spent some time at his house. I remember seeing Star Wars with him once. I remember fishing for crawdads in his creek at one birthday party. I remember that his family owned a single-volume version of The Lord of the Rings made up to look like The Red Book of Westmarch. I remember that in the late seventies his father had, in the house, some sort of computer that could dial in with a modem to play a networked D&D game with wire-frame graphics. As we grew older, Andrew became less squirrely, more stoic. Still, his birthday parties were always fun. One year, Dave and I pitched together to buy Andrew the live Styx album, Caught in the Act. That was the year we all stayed up late watching Octopussy. Andrew left Canby for Lakeridge (or Lake Oswego?) after his sophomore year of high school. He went to Stanford for college and now brings the world lots of exciting gadgets as the VP for product development at The Sharper Image. Andrew comments here from time-to-time.

John Kern
Ah, John Kern. I haven’t seen John in twenty years. I always thought John and I were very similar — smart but prone to stupid things. He and I could be very silly together. John lived in Charbonneau, a wealthy community between Canby and Wilsonville. I loved to go over to his house because it was so enormous and beautiful. John didn’t go to Canby for high school; he went to LaSalle, and gradually the rest of us geeks lost touch with him. In junior high, he held two computer parties. We all brought our machines over to his house and stayed up all night doing geeky computer stuff. (Or at least as geeky as you could get with VIC-20s and Commodore 64s and TI-99/4As and, yes, even a Timex Sinclair 1000.) Once we played Pitfall to the wee hours of the morning. Another time (possibly the same time), we snuck into his parents’ bedroom to get their copy of Flashdance. We watched ,it hoping to find some dirty parts. There weren’t any. I think John eventually did something with ROTC, joined the Navy or Air Force. I’d love to see him again. He’s probably married, with five kids and a crazy life.

Darren Misner
I met Darren in fifth grade, drawn to him because he was interested in comic books. For a couple of years, we were pretty good friends. I spent a lot of time at his house playing D&D (and Villains and Vigilantes — or was it Champions?), leafing through his comic books (like Dave, he preferred DC), and playing on his TRS-80 (he had a great dinosaur game for it). We spent Halloween together our sixth grade year, trick-or-treating up and down his street. Nobody was home. We smashed a lot of pumpkins and took a lot of candy from dishes left on porches. Darren drew his own comic books and tried to sell them at the school store, but his only potential customers were his fellow geeks, and he usually gave us copies for free. I always liked Darren, but he was tentative, unsure of himself. He seems more confident as an adult. Like Dave, Darren attended Whitman College. He’s now the bookbuyer for Powell’s Beaverton.

Mitch Sherrard
Mitch was a strange duck, but I liked him a lot. (After all, he introduced me to Bloom County!) He didn’t always hang with the geeks, because he was kind of a loner. Mitch was hard-rocking, Stephen King-loving kind of geek. He liked D&D too (kind of a requirement to be a geek in the early eighties), but he was more interested in the life-and-times the game emulated. He liked the armor and the weapons and the castles more than the actual gameplay. (He’d be a perfect candidate for the SCA.) Because Mitch was somewhat different than the rest of us, he offered a unique perspective. He could argue a position that the rest of didn’t take. He was passionate. Mitch and I stayed friends throughout high school, and kept in touch a little bit after we graduated. He called me one Christmas break but I never returned his call. I’ve not heard from him since. I’ve been trying to track him down without much success. (Dave thinks he might have a connection that would lead us to Mitch, but, to be honest, I’m a little apprehensive.)

Jonathan McDowell
Jonathan was a kid that everybody loved. He was certainly a geek, and part of our group, but he was also cool enough to hang around with the regular kids. The teachers loved him because he didn’t goof around. Rather, he goofed around, but he knew when to stop. He was the funniest in our group (though John Kern was close). He was a great joke-teller and song-singer. One day in TAG Science he taught us to sing “My lover, he was a logger, there’s none like him today. If you’d poor whiskey on it, he’d eat a bail of hay.” We were supposed to be working on plant propagation, but we sang goofy songs instead. Though we all like him, Jonathan never did much with us outside of school. He was a member of a private church, and I don’t think he was allowed to mix with the riff-raff. I didn’t see much of Jonathan in high school, and have no idea what happened to him after graduation.

Jeremy Martin
Poor Jeremy Martin. He was most certainly part of our group; he was a geek, and in all of our classes. But just as the other kids picked on us, we picked on Jeremy. He carried his Dungeons and Dragons books with him to every class. He didn’t try to hide his geekiness. Most of us knew enough to try to pretend we weren’t geeky, even though everyone knew we were. Jeremy had no shame. So we picked on him as others picked on us. Still, I liked him. I went over to his house to play Runequest. He came over to my house to play our made-up version of life-sized D&D back in Grandpa’s woods. Jeremy was a good guy, but nobody was willing to give him a chance. That’s too bad. I don’t know what happened to him in high school and beyond. When Kris and I still lived in the apartment, just after moving to Canby, we ran into Jeremy and his mother one day. He was moving from a house in town to someplace in Portland. That’s the last I saw or heard of him.


The following were not geeks, but they deserve special mention:

Paul Carlile
Dave was my best friend for the four years beginning in fifth grade. Paul was my best friend for the following four years. Neither of us can remember how we met. Apparently we knew each other in junior high because he signed my yearbook. It wasn’t until our freshman year that we began to hang out together, and by our sophomore year, he was my best friend. (Tom Stewart was another best friend for Paul, I think.) Whereas I was staid and liked planning, Paul was all about spontaneity and fun. The combination worked well. We also had great arguments about life, the universe, and everything. Once, after a Newberg-Canby football game, we sat in the car and argued about the nature of God for more than an hour. (I was for God, he was against). By our senior years, we were so in-sync that once, while were driving down a country road, he began to tell me something and I said “I know” — “How do you even know what I was going to say?” he asked. We compared notes. I had known what he was going to say, though it was a completely unrelated to our previous conversation. Paul and I have kept in contact (with varying degrees of closeness) all our adult lives. It’s always great to get together with him. He still brings spontaneity to my well-ordered life. Paul’s a regular commenter around here.

Tamara Brunson
I never knew Tamara well. She was a sweet, good-natured girl who was in all of the advanced classes with us geeks. We had a teasing kind of acquaintance, each of us making fun of the other. She was important to me mainly because first Dave and then Paul had a crush on her. It was strange to go from one best friend to the other and to have both of them infatuated with Tamara. I didn’t keep in touch with Tamara after high school, but for a couple of years in the mid-nineties I’d bump into her at concerts and events around Canby. She was happily married, had adopted a child, and was running a Montessori school near Banks. She’s a good person, and I hope she’s doing well.

Tami Sale
While both Dave and Paul had a crush on Tamara Brunson, I had one on Tami Sale, my dentist’s daughter. Tami made my heart ache, and I’ll bet she never knew it. She was beautiful. She was smart. She was popular. And, best of all, she was nice to me. She didn’t treat me like dirt. We had a computer class together in eighth grade, and sometimes we’d collaborate on projects. I went to the eighth grade graduation dance — my first dance — solely because I knew she’d be there. I asked her to dance three times, and she said “yes” every time. We danced to “Open Arms” by Journey, and for the entire summer I melted whenever I heard that song. Poor Dave had to put up with me pining for Tami Sale all summer long. Then high school came along and I forgot all about Tami. I saw her in class, of course, but my crush had evaporated. Ironically, we were cast as husband and wife in the play our senior year (You Can’t Take With You — we were Ed and Essie Carmichael). We gave each other a perfunctory kiss during every performance. And I didn’t even care! Four years earlier I would have killed to give Tami a kiss. Such is the way of young love.


I think most of us in the geeky clique suffered terribly during our junior high years. (Maybe everyone does.) We were the bottom-feeders on the social ladder, and well aware of it. School was miserable, except when we were with each other. I wouldn’t trade those years of pain for anything now. They helped make me who I am today. I like myself now. To hell with all the popular kids!

Comments


On 16 April 2004 (08:59 AM),
Tiffany said:

My junior high was far more divided by race then by social class. The ‘Military Kids’ were far out numbers by all the race groups, so we stuck together. We had our cliques within the MKs, but we would stick up for each other then an outsider was picking on us. There were a lot of fights in my junior high. I still have a scar on right hand from one of those fights. I never started a fight, but I am still a little proud to say that I never lost one either.

Then in high school I hung out with the ‘New Wave’ group for the first 2 years, music and/or race made the cliques. Then I moved to what I can only describe as the ‘Smart Stoners’. The Start Stoners were in all of the advanced classes and did well in them, but spent most of the evening and weekends either drunk or stoned. I was not drunk or stoned with then, I just found that I loved these people. I could debate life with them far more then the New Wavers. The Smart Stoners were not racist like a lot of my high school classmates, however they were not to found of the police. I married one of these guys by the way.

But I got off of the subject; we had geeks in both junior and high school. In junior high they were included in the MKs, no questions asked. In high school, there were enough geeks that they had their own large clique. I knew many of them from the advanced classes, and they picked on each other far more then I ever saw non-geeks picking on them.

Growing up as a MK, I learned that things were disposable. Every move Mom got rid of clothes, toys, sometimes pets and we lost friends. Yes, you say that you will keep in tough, but it often does not work. I always find people that grew up in one place and still know the people they went to elementary school with fascinating, geeky or not.



On 16 April 2004 (09:07 AM),
Joel said:

The Geeks Rule the Earth.
Or so it would seem. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, all those business types who ought to be going to jail but mostly aren’t; they all seem to be geeks.
I was/am definitely a geek, and junior high was definitely the low point of my life. I recently asked my geeky clique (self-dubbed The Institution) whether we were geeks in high school, and was surprised to hear them mostly deny it. “We weren’t geeks! Many of us were quite popular! Several of us earned athletic letters (in something other than debate and band), we generally had dates, we rarely received beatings… etc.” I’m fairly certain that many of them are in denial, but I’m not going to push the point.
Being a geek where I grew up, as I think we’ve discussed in this forum elsewhen, wasn’t as bad as in some other communities. We were kind of a Third Path between the Jocks and the Burnouts.



On 16 April 2004 (09:20 AM),
Dana said:

Tiffany: Growing up as a MK, I learned that things were disposable. Every move Mom got rid of clothes, toys, sometimes pets and we lost friends. Yes, you say that you will keep in tough, but it often does not work. I always find people that grew up in one place and still know the people they went to elementary school with fascinating, geeky or not.

I didn’t grow up in the military, and I expect I didn’t move as often, or to as foreign of places, as you did, but I learned this lesson, too.

My family moved when I was two from a rural cottage in farmland (with no neighbors) into a neighborhood filled with kids. When I was 9, the summer between third and fourth grade, we moved to Minnesota. In February of my 8th grade year, we moved to Nevada. Then, the summer between my Junior and Senior years of high school, we moved to Idaho.

I attended a total of three grade schools, two junior highs, and two high schools.

People with a strong place-history are fascinating to me — their world seems very foreign in an odd way. Every few years I was uprooted, put into uncomfortable situations, and forced to build a new life. Most of my extended family has a less mobile history (although generally more mobile than JD, 90% of whose life has passed in a 45 mile circle centered on Canby).

I often wonder what I’d be like if I’d grown up in only one town, with one group of schoolmates. I also wonder what JD would be like if he’d moved around like I did.



On 16 April 2004 (09:25 AM),
J.D. said:

Joel: Being a geek where I grew up wasn’t as bad as in some other communities.

Or times. We geeks who came before blazed a trail of acceptance for the geeks of future generations! We made it cool to talk about our thirtieth-level Paladins and to obsess about our video games. You reaped the benefit of all our hard work.

Or something.

Dana: generally more mobile than JD, 90% of whose life has passed in a 45 mile circle centered on Canby

Make that 100% of my life in a 20-mile radius centered on, say, Woodburn. And my family (grandparents, father) have spent 95% of the last 100 years in this same circle. Spooky, huh?



On 16 April 2004 (09:26 AM),
Denise said:

Jr. High is Hell on Earth, or at least it was for me. 8th Grade was the worst for me…well, that is if you overlook that bad perm I had to live with in 7th Grade.

Ok – Jr. High all together was completely horrible and left some deep self-esteem wounds for quite some time.

You are very brave for sharing those pictures…I would NEVER share the bad perm picture!



On 16 April 2004 (09:41 AM),
Joel said:

Dana said: “I often wonder what I’d be like if I’d grown up in only one town, with one group of schoolmates. I also wonder what JD would be like if he’d moved around like I did.”
Perhaps you’d be married, settled down in the family business, while JD would currently be undergoing procedures to change his gender?
It’s a big deal, this moving around business. A friend of mine moved around a lot as a kid, and he always seemed kind of skinny and undernourished. It was generally understood that he was constantly rationing his food against some upcoming journey. He’ll bury us all, that skinny guy.



On 16 April 2004 (09:45 AM),
Dana said:

Joel: Perhaps you’d be married, settled down in the family business, while JD would currently be undergoing procedures to change his gender?

Somehow I doubt it, Joel.

Although, I do have to say that I think JD would pass fairly well as a woman. He’s rounded as opposed to angular, and his voice isn’t particularly deep.

Plus, there’s all that musical theater he’s into… =)

Really, though, it’d never happen — he’s too lazy to do all the work necessary to pull it off…



On 16 April 2004 (09:47 AM),
Joel said:

[laughs with delight]



On 16 April 2004 (09:48 AM),
J.D. said:

Dana: It’d never happen — he’s too lazy to do all the work necessary to pull it off

I don’t want to pull it off: I love my penis.

(Laugh! — it’s funny.)



On 16 April 2004 (09:52 AM),
Denise said:

Your penis is funny, do tell!



On 16 April 2004 (09:57 AM),
Dana said:

Groan

Yes, yes — funny penis. Of course, looks aren’t everything. (rimshot)

Seriously, though, I can’t see JD putting in enough work on a regular basis to be presentable as a woman. The only way would be if it turned into his obsession du jour, like making audiotapes and cross-referenced summaries of Trek episodes. It’d last a year or two, then he’d drop it and drift off to something else.

I just can’t see it. It might be amusing for Halloween, though.



On 16 April 2004 (09:58 AM),
J.D. said:

Argh!

Another one of my geek talents was to always say things in just the wrong way, so that they could be interpreted in a way other than I had intended. I was always saying self-depricating things unintentionally.

John Kern had this talent, too.

Otherwhen…

Tony just came into the office. “My GOD, you were a geek,” he said.

“Of course I was,” I said. “Don’t you remember?”

“No. I was too little. To me you were just a big brother. But looking back, you and your friends were geeks. No wonder you love that show [Freaks and Geeks].”

Ah, the blissful ignorance of youth.



On 16 April 2004 (10:01 AM),
Dana said:

Tony: My GOD, you were a geek

Were a geek, Kemosabe? How about IS a geek?



On 16 April 2004 (11:57 AM),
Lynn said:

Funny how other people often see you differently than you saw yourself. Tony didn’t necessarily think you were a geek, but you knew you were/are. heh.
I don’t think I was a geek. I didn’t have geeky interests. But I didn’t consider myself terribly popular either. I had friends in the popular crowd, but I didn’t always feel a part of that clique.
Junior High was fun for me. Lots of changes: new friends from Beavercreek, starting to wear make-up, ears pierced, etc. Freshman and Sophomore year were extremely difficult for me, emotionally. This was a time in which I made a transition from one group of friends to another and not by choice. Let’s just say girls can be cruel.
And…I’m with Denise, my 7th grade picture was heinous. As was 8th grade. Yikes.



On 16 April 2004 (01:33 PM),
Amanda said:

I don’t like looking at any pictures of myself from about ages 13-17. Frightening.



On 16 April 2004 (01:50 PM),
Dave said:

Well this is a little bit of a flash from the past. As I read through JD’s entry I was quite amused by the memories (good and bad) that it brought back.

As for what I’ll now call “The Brunson Affair” (or lack thereof, actually), let’s just say that it was a very dark period for me in which I managed to mete out more wrong than right and that a very nice girl handled my unwanted attention with a remarkable amount of maturity and grace. Much more than was deserved, I should think.

For the record, I’m not sure that it would be an appropriate characterization, however, to say that JD and I “hated each other”. Certainly I can’t think of any reason why JD would have hated me (though I’m open to correction on this. Highschool was a time I’d be much in favor of forgetting). For my part, I must admit that I was very angry with JD. After all, someone who was my best friend for many years simply got up one morning and made the decision that he wasn’t going to associate with or talk to me anymore. Lest you think I’m subjecting this to a certain amount of hyperbole, that’s literally the way it was. For no reason that I could ascertain, one day JD just simply stopped acknowledging my existence. No conversation, no returning telephone calls, wouldn’t even look at me in the hallway at school.

That was a long time ago, but truth be told, that rift mars our relationship to this day. We both know this, but it’s not something that we’ll ever talk about, nor do we need to. For my part I think I understand (now) his reasons for doing what he did, although I still believe that things should’ve been handled much differently and with a greater degree of external awareness.

Maybe I’m just bitter that I was dumped for the attractive, Christian kids. C’est la vie By college I had mostly forgotten about it and it wasn’t until law school when I saw JD on the Willamette campus one day that I gave it any additional thought. Fortunately the passage of years has dulled the issue from both ends.

But damn, JD. Were you and I in a contest to see who could get the bigger,geekier glasses or what?



On 16 April 2004 (02:27 PM),
Dana said:

Sorry Dave, but I think you win that contest…

I should try and dig up some old pictures of me during this period. I hate mine probably even more than Denise, Lynn, and Amanda — enough that I’m not sure I have any.

My glasses were wire rim, with glass ‘photogrey’ lenses (they’d go dark in sunlight, and they weighed about three pounds because I’m practically blind).



On 16 April 2004 (02:47 PM),
Eila said:

A few comments: one: don’t you people have jobs!!!! This is jealousy speaking; on an ordinary day, I would not even have time to read J.D.’s prose
two: I remember vividly one particular outfit I wore proudly in the eighth grade (it did not necessarily make me a geek, but it was unfortunate, nonetheless) white shorts with a blue stripe down each side, a navy tee shirt, tucked in, blue knee socks and the first pair of Nikes I ever had. I looked spectacular–I was certain the outfit would attract the attention of a certain someone.



On 16 April 2004 (02:59 PM),
Dana said:

Eila: one: don’t you people have jobs!

Hi, Eila!

Speaking only for myself, yes. Yes, I do have a job. But it’s to sit at a computer and type for 8 hours a day. It’s pretty easy to have a browser window open and spend spare moments reading or typing. And I type fast ’cause of all the practice.

white shorts with a blue stripe down each side, a navy tee shirt, tucked in, blue knee socks and the first pair of Nikes I ever had.

Stylin’! =)

One of the advantages(?) of repressing your sexuality during your teen years is that you kind of don’t have any embarrasing crushes to talk about. I mean, I’m pretty sure I understand why I was so attached to my friend Todd, now, but I can’t say that I ever dressed to impress him.

Sigh.



On 16 April 2004 (03:05 PM),
Dana said:

Ah, yes — I should have posted this earlier. It’s a local Minneapolis tech support company. Their company vehicles are very distinctive. They used to be even better — they had random older cars, but all with that two tone paint job and the logo. Now they all seem to be bugs.



On 16 April 2004 (05:25 PM),
nate said:

My junior high years were incredibly painless, as I spent them within the comfortable walls of a private school. Funny; looking back, we geeks outnumbered/outclassed the athlete types (you don’t get many of ’em at a private that doesn’t even offer P.E.), and generally assumed that being athletic was more loserish than our nerdiness (how nerdy were we? Playing the Star Trek CCG until 2 AM, that’s how!). I still keep in touch with a handful of people from that school, and count one of them as my best friend.

Also, I benefit from passing my junior high years during the late 90’s, when geek went mainstream. Not so painful to be a geek when everywhere you looked was another millionaire dot-comer (obviously this was before the bubble burst).

You might think that my subsequent transition back into public school come high school has difficult, but that wasn’t too bad either. I had a good idea what I was interested in (journalism), and my years of private schooling allowed my placement into a number of more advanced classes. That gave me an in with the upperclassmen who I continue to be friends with to this day, even though most of them graduated from HS last year, while I finish up my senior year.



On 17 April 2004 (12:03 AM),
Andrew Parker said:

Your memory fails, John: I had Mr. Schultz for first grade. Didn’t you have a crush on his daughter, or was that someone else?

Dad worked for Control Data Corp for those several years that we enjoyed the free “watts” line to the mainframe in Minneapolis so we could play at all of those crazy simulations while other kids pined for an Atari 2600. Pre-teen geek bliss.

The last time I saw Jon McD was the summer after my frosh year at college. He was driving a lowered pink Beetle that he’d recently painted neon pink and was dating a 28-year-old woman; not exactly how I’d imagined he’d drive off into the sunset, but he always had a unique flair…



On 21 April 2004 (11:18 AM),
D. Misner said:

I have to say it was bit unsettling to be sent a link to this by someone I know. Obliterate that little moron in a V-neck velour sweater now. Nonetheless . . .

To be honest I have very little fond memories of any of these times, but then again I’ve always considered “nostalgia” a disease of the mind. I won’t overturn any rocks here, exposing the slugs and pill bugs underneath, but the character sketches above are a bit inaccurate and saccharine, the haze of time placing a veil over the jagged edges. Of course, the “offenses” that drove me nuts then are understandable now that I can see beyond myself — everybody had their own package of problems. If I have any regrets, it’s probably being cruel to Dave our first year at college. Unfortunately, Dave suffered due to me attempting to rebuild who I was and he represented in many respects what I wanted to forget: Canby, Oregon and the old patterns I had fallen into my first year at college. My apologies, Dave. Really, I’m not that bastard anymore.



On 21 April 2004 (11:41 AM),
J.D. said:

Andrew said: Your memory fails, John. I had Mr. Schultz for first grade.

Darren said: The character sketches above are a bit inaccurate and saccharine, the haze of time placing a veil over the jagged edges.

Both of my geeks-in-arms are correct.

My memory does fail. But I hope that in all the essential details, these character sketches are correct.

Darren’s correct, too, that the character sketches are “a bit inaccurate and saccharine”. The inaccuracies are a fault of my memory, of course, not through willful misrepresentation. As I age, I find that memories of my childhood have taken to hiding in dark corners of my mind, to be discovered when rooting for unrelated things. These memories have frayed, so that I can see the basic form, but not always all the details.

As for the saccharine nature of my character sketches: I’m guilty as charged. Mostly, I have fond memories of this group of geeks. Most of my memories are “sweet” in nature. And those that aren’t, well, I’ve learned through trial and error that this is not the forum for sharing such accounts.

Being a geek was rough. No question. I was suicidal for a time because of it. But I’m happy to have persevered, and now it’s the good memories I try to preserve. I’m sad that other — Dave and Darren, for example — have fewer good memories to cling to. I only hope their adult lives haved proved more rewarding and fulfilling than their childhoods.

Dave said: Someone who was my best friend for many years simply got up one morning and made the decision that he wasn’t going to associate with or talk to me anymore.

Dave, I can see how you might perceive this to be the case, but I don’t remember it that way. (And we’ve already established the problems with my memory.)

I remember the rift as more of a gradual thing. Freshman year was a rough and trying time. We were leaving the Mormon church. I was being picked on by bullies. I had problems with low self-esteem and suicidal tendencies. I had few classes with any of my old, geeky friends. There was a slew of things marring my psyche on a day-to-day basis.

When my family ended up at Zion, I felt envigorated by religious fervor, as you’re well aware. I became obsessed with my new life. I never consciously cast off any of my old friends, though in retrospect I can see that might have seemed the case.

From my side, Dave seemed to grow cantankerous and short-tempered. I felt he didn’t want me for a friend anymore. Hearing his side, I can see that’s because he felt the same thing. We weren’t communicating.

But he’s right: the rift does mar our relationship to this day, and we have side-stepped it, and we have learned to live around it. (Except for this weblog entry, I guess.)

For myself, I’m grateful that the passage of years has allowed Dave and me to become friends again.



On 21 April 2004 (02:30 PM),
Dave said:

Unfortunately for me, at the time JD describes there were moments in which I was cantankerous and short-tempered. Find a 14 year old who isn’t. Fortunately for JD (and me) neither one of us are 14 (thank God).

Darren- good to hear from you again. If it comes as any consolation, I’ve never thought that you treated me especially poorly when we were in college. I full well understood (and sympathized with) your desire to leave behind highschool and it’s attendant nightmarish associations. Frankly, I thought you were just a conflicted guy trying to find himself. I’m glad you succeeded.



On 21 April 2004 (06:00 PM),
Denise said:

Ok – and what does this say about me? Skinny Grasshopper that got dumped by one of the founding members of the geek squad?

And just wanted to add – everyone does things or says things in their youth that they regret. I got hurt by people, and I’m sure I hurt some people myself. Add the hurt to the inability to express true feelings when you are an adolescent, and it is a recipe for misunderstood rifts.



On 22 April 2004 (07:35 AM),
Dave said:

Denise- Don’t feel too bad about getting dumped by JD. He dumped me too and I wasn’t even going out with him!



On 22 April 2004 (07:38 AM),
J.D. said:

What can I say? I was an idiot in both cases…



On 22 April 2004 (08:47 AM),
Dave said:

Well, at least I could’ve gotten a kiss or something out of it. Geesh!



On 22 April 2004 (09:38 AM),
Dana said:

Now there’s an image. =) If you two do kiss and make up, I sure hope there’s photographic proof!

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