Getting Started & Finding My Way
(Part 5)

This is part 5 in a series of essays about when I was a young man (30+ years ago) trying to figure out how to “make it” in the world. Click HERE to go back to the beginning of the series.


Before I forge on with the next segment of my story, I want to tell you about my “Grassroots Project in Vermont” classmate, Joe Miller, and some of the things we did during that "golden" school year of 1976-77.

Joe was from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He was tall and athletic, with a freshness and energy about him that translated to a winsome personality. I’m not sure exactly what it was but when he walked in a room, people turned to look, and watch. I’ve never seen this dynamic in a person before or since.

Shortly into the school year, Joe and I discovered that we had something in common. We were both Christians, and we were both serious about our faith; about holding fast to it and growing in our walk with the Lord. As a result, we became good friends and we had some wholesome good times.

One of the things we had fun at was skateboarding. Joe was a surfer and skateboarding was kind of like surfing on land. For a period of time, he and I skateboarded down the road from Craftsbury Common where our school was, to the town of Craftsbury. When I say down the road, I mean really down. Craftsbury Common was up on a mountain and the road down was steep. We sailed down that road at breakneck speeds, occasionally ditching ourselves off to the side because we got going way too fast. It was like a game to see who could go faster and stay on the board longer before chickening out. Joe was clearly the winner in these exploits of testosterone-fueled youthful insanity. Once we got to the bottom, we would jog back up to the school for breakfast.

We skateboarded only a short while because the director of the school asked us not to do it any more. It seems some of the local people who lived along the road had been watching us. They were afraid we were going to badly hurt ourselves and called the school.

When we returned to school after winter break, a fellow classmate told us about a new movie he had seen when he was home. It was about a boxer. It was called “Rocky.” He said we would like the movie. Joe had a van and we drove one Friday night to the city of Burlington just to see the movie, and we loved it!

That night we slept in the back of Joe's van at a University of Vermont dormitory parking lot. The next morning we got up early and ran through the streets of Burlington, Rocky-style. I’m pretty sure we had towels around our necks, like Sylvester Stallone in the movie. We came upon some sort of public building with a lot of stairs and raced to the top, just like Rocky did in the movie. Then we ran down and up again. We were crazy.

Joe and I used to play “pushup cards.” We shuffled a deck of playing cards and took turns drawing the top card. Whatever the number on the card was, that’s how many pushups the person who drew the card had to do. A Jack, Queen, King, or Ace required 10 pushups. By the time we got to the bottom of the deck we were aching. It was great fun.

But the most memorable adventure of our school days was the whitewater canoe trip we took down the Lamoille River. It's a story that deserves its own essay.

To be continued....
Click HERE to go to Part 6 of this series


Dreamer said...

Just quietly enjoying your series. I can't wait for the next installment.

Troy said...

Oh My Gosh You mentioned Delaware. No one ever mentions Delaware. We are just a blip on 95.