In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are participating in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs. I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge. I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.
This clipping is from a spelling bee in 8th grade. I LOVED spelling bees. I still do - I think the national one is riveting, and I love hearing all the back stories of the participants. I loved "Akeela and the Bee," and I love that this newspaper even recorded what words Bobby and I stumbled over. Unfortunately, I think spelling is a lost art. We've got spell check now, after all, and there hasn't been a spelling bee in any of my schools where I've taught for years. I do think spelling is a genetic thing, and I know it isn't connected to intelligence, but I still love spelling challenges. This post, though, isn't really about spelling bees; it's about Bobby, who was in several spelling bees with me.
Bobby was one of the smartest people I knew. He and I grew up together in the Mason City Schools. We were on and off friends throughout grade school. In fact, Karan and Lisa (two other friends I've journeyed though life with), and I have talked about how even though we were in school together most of K-12, we weren't always the best of friends. That cemented itself in high school. However, I love that pictures and newpaper clippings caught our relationship anyway - we were always connected, and I love that. Once we were in high school, we were fast friends. I can remember hours spent at LaRosas, my house, Lisa's house, with Karan, in various clubs, musicals, plays, etc. Side by side we traveled. We even trailed each other to college. I roomed with Chrissy (that blog post is coming up) and Karan (that one is, too), and Bobby and Lisa lived close enough by at Miami University that we hung out together now and then. My sophomore year I became a resident assistant. Bobby did, too, and we lived in the same co-ed dorm. I can remember hanging out in his room and laughing and talking, and laughing some more. Interestingly enough, Ed, who is my husband, landed in Morris Hall, also. It's amusing to hear Ed talk about first meeting Bobby and me. He thought we were a couple. We weren't - just best friends - but it took some reconnaisance on Ed's part to find that out.
Bobby was a big fan of Ed's.He helped me figure out he was the one I should marry. He knew he was the one for me, and fully supported that relationship. Ed loved Bobby, too. He knew he meant a lot to me. Bobby and Lisa were always classically late to things, our wedding ceremony being one of them. They completely missed it! Granted, the ceremony was only 12 minutes long, but it was still funny. They made it to the reception, which we all know is the most fun part anyway, right? They even did a booze run for us when we ran out 3/4 of the way through the party.
When we were all in college, we started a Friends' Thanksgiving tradition that has lasted 26 years. Bobby was a part of that from the very beginning. He was never married, so it seemed like our kids were like his own, and he was their biggest fan. He came to musicals, soccer games, birthdays, etc. He knew all their friends, and their friends knew him. He would ask about them by name. All the kids loved him. He was like their favorite uncle even though he wasn't related. We all love this picture of him with Ellie and Katie at one of the Pittsburgh Friends' Thanksgivings. Ed and I moved to Pittsburgh because of Ed's career , and were there for five years. My high school/college friends continued to made the trek several times a year. It was so fun!