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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This whole blog will probably sound really stupid to you, but with any luck it will make a little sense.  You see, I lived in the same city, in the same house from the day I was brought home as a newborn until I was twenty-two.  As you may have read in one of my previous blogs here, I grew up on an old farm my grandparents bought in 1969 in a rural area which became a very metropolitan and affluent area over time.  I lived within two miles of the majority of the Atlanta Braves' starting line-up;  that should tell you what the little town grew into.  When I was a teenager, it seemed like we all lived in the typical, suburban bubble and nothing ever changed besides new subdivisions and strip malls being built on formerly wooded areas.  This is Johns Creek, Georgia and the only home I knew until five years ago when I moved about fifteen miles north of it.  
I do drive down to Johns Creek everyday because that is where the family business is based, but I do not spend any time there as a local.  About forty percent of the week I am in the shop and about sixty percent of the week I am driving around doing other things in other cities.  I have my own rituals and such in the city where I live now, and that means I do not have to do any shopping or anything else for that matter in Johns Creek.  This week, though, I am a resident again because my parents are out of town and I am watching their dog.  Being here just two days so far has given me a chance to reminisce about the things I did in high school and a few years after.  Since I moved five years ago, I have not stayed here even once overnight, so this is weird for me, especially since the house is empty besides my parents' dog and mine.  Though I am still making random trips to my house once a day to be sure all is well. 

I want to tell you about a few memories of the park I went to all the time when I was a teenager since I did my daily run there today:
  When my dad started his first company with a partner in the late 90's, their first contracted job was doing build-outs on some of the buildings in this place.  This was the nicest park I had ever been to when it was built, but after going for a run there today, I realized how small it is compared to Fowler Park up the road from my house.  
I had to be careful with this picture, because it was around six o'clock and there were kids on the playground.  Stopping to take a picture of it while kids were on it would look incredibly off and disturbing, so I snapped one as I strolled by.  
The significance of this playground is in the swings you see in the background.  When I was sixteen and through the rest of high school, my friend Josh would come over on the weekends from his house about an hour away and we would always end up here.  The reason was because he is a year older than I am and we would sit on the swings while we smoked cigars (sorry, mom).  
We would always get Al Capone Cognac-Dipped cigarillos.  Sometimes he would bring the girl he happened to be dating at the time or a mutual friend from his town, sometimes my local friends would stop over, the usual.  The funny thing is that whenever Josh came over to do whatever it was we were doing, we always ended up here, at the park.

This is also the same place I brought one of my female friends when she wanted to see what Skoal tasted like.  I bought a can of the mint flavor and she did not get sick, but was a little grossed out by the whole thing.  Then she was bored a few weeks later and decided our other friend should try it as well.  Girl number two ended up getting extremely sick off the can of Cherry Skoal I bought this time, throwing up at the park and then again while on her hands and knees in her own front yard.  Whoops...  For the record, I am nicotine, drug, and alcohol free.  We all get curious though. Right?
This was me at twenty.  That means seven years ago.  I was skinny, too skinny as I weighed about 135lbs due to working so much, volunteering, and going to school while trying to have a social life (I explain that here) and not eating anything, ever.  
I put this picture up because my longboard is in it.  At Newtown Park, around the same time as this picture, this longboard made an attempt at killing me.
This is the top of the hill I started from the day I went to the Emergency Room.  Like any hill in a picture, it does not look steep at all, but it has a pretty decent drop once you get rolling.  My friend Duke bombed it on his longboard and did fine.  My friend Jake bombed it on a Birdhouse street deck board and was a bit wobbly, but made it.  Me, however?  I did not tighten my trucks that day and bit the asphalt right at the bottom of that curve going somewhere close to 30mph, I would assume.  
I had this all over my body:
The whole right side and down that arm looked like this.  I had pieces of gravel suck in both of my palms and one elbow.  The worst part?  The skin on my left kneecap was GONE.  I have a picture of it floating around somewhere, but I doubt you would want me to post something that gross.  You could literally see the bones in the joint of my knee.  The patch of missing skin was about the size of a half dollar.  After stumbling back to my car and bleeding all over the interior of it, Jake drove me to the hospital where the doctor said he could not stitch it because there was nothing left to stitch.  I just had to let the skin grow back over, which ended up taking months to happen.  
*If you want the more bloody pictures and one of my scar, leave a comment and I will edit this blog to include them.*
That was the last time I rode my longboard and I ended up burning it in the fire pit I built into my deck a few years ago.

I told you about the things that have not changed, but there were a few spots that have done so in the past five years:
The city built a half-acre community garden with all sorts of vegetables in it.

The wild foliage is creeping up to the walking path and these massive runners of honeysuckle are EVERYWHERE and smell awesome.

And the pond...Well, the pond is still green and smells like goose piddle...

Then I came back to my parents house after my run, ate three of these and may very well be sick:

Oh, and the dogs wanted to play:
video

If you like my semi-pointless postings, share this blog with your friends.  As always, thanks for taking the time to read it!

Grace and Peace,
   -Drew


The lyrics in the title of this blog are from this song:



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