Thursday, December 22, 2011

for the love of beef (part 4)

It is now summer of 2000 I have a college degree and no job.  I have been interviewing frequently for a job teaching high school Agriculture.  I have had several great interviews that I left feeling like that would be my next job, but then a rejection letter or sometimes a terrible answering machine message came.  I interviewed at what was probably my last option and the FFA alumni and principal were both positive through the interview.  I had just walked through the door at my parent’s home after the drive back from the interview and there was already an answering machine message.  The message said something like this, we thought the interview went well, the alumni really enjoyed meeting you and appreciated your enthusiasm and ideas BUT we hired someone who graduated from here.  Devastated I went to the field to ride in the combine with my dad, where he was harvesting wheat.  Not because he would have some piece of great advice, but more because he would say nothing and we could ride there together with nothing to say. There was really nothing to say.  I’ve wanted to teach Agriculture since I was a freshman in high school and I wanted to live in Perry County and now that dream was over.  I really didn’t need to analyze that, so a combine ride with my dad was a logical choice.
By this time I also was working a summer position at the Perry County Courthouse doing mass mailings to people who had not paid traffic tickets and learning a lot about the local government.  The other thing about working at the local courthouse is that the people that work there are a close family and great people.  It was an awesome summer job.  Because the office that I worked in dealt with traffic violations and the sheriff’s office was right across the ally, several deputies would come into the office.  By mid-summer the girls I worked with had talked me in to going on a date with one of the deputies.  He was a nice guy, he was nice looking and he had a nice job.  I agreed although I knew that we really had nothing in common.  As he pulled into my parent’s driveway in a sports car (really no truck), I knew instantly that this was not going to be my prince.  Oh well he is a nice guy.  I jumped into the car and we headed towards a local town thirty minutes away to get something to eat. As he drove up the road we had a nice conversation, but I was really surprised for someone who drove so much as a deputy, he spent a lot of time driving all over the road.  It really made me nervous and I had rode with a lot of people, but this was not good.  We finally arrived at Applebee’s and by half way through dinner the conversation was dead.  He asked if I was interested in going to the movies.  I said had to work in the morning and that I had better get home.  On the way home he asked if this house next to my parent’s house was the right one.  I smiled and said “no, it’s the next one”.  Many people had made that mistake.  But then he said “oh yea it’s the one with the silos”.  I am thinking oh he didn’t just say that, those aren’t silos they are grain bins.  I told him thanks for a nice evening and immediately went to the house to call Mary.  I called her to tell her how nice the date was and that I couldn’t possibly date someone who didn’t know the difference between a grain bin and a silo.  I mean really.  She laughed because she knew I was insanely weird but that would be my last date with him.     
I finally landed a job at the Perry County Learning Center in the southern part of the county teaching Science. I was sold the job during the interview as a place where students that were struggling at their local schools in the county would be placed. I was going to have the opportunity to make the difference in the lives of youth. It was actually youth that had been expelled from their public school, so I would actually just practice disciplining youth with different methods they never taught us at The Ohio State University. (more about this later)
Mary and I spent a lot of the summer driving around and one night we were in Amanda which is really 30 minutes from where we live.  But this is still a time in our lives where gas was cheap and we could afford to aimlessly drive around.  We ended up at one of Jake’s friend’s house.  Actually his name is Greiner and he worked at cemetery and was able to live there.  So there we were on a warm summer evening talking in the cemetery.  Greiner was telling us how Jake had been dumped and I was feeling sorry for myself because I had been dumped.  Then Greiner says and you and Jake should just go out.  He pointed out how much we had in common.  Which I smiled, because I already knew that from that wonderful summer night when I had met him.  I just said you know he is two and a half years younger than me.  Mary and Greiner both pointed out that I was 21 and Jake was 19 and that really wasn’t that big of a deal.  Within the week Jake was calling and we were talking like it hadn’t been three years.  It was now late July and time for the Perry County Fair, the local event of the year.  I had celebrated a lot of birthday’s there and spent most of my summers as a youth preparing for the Perry County Fair.  I even had my first crush at the Perry County Fair, probably in the late 80’s. It was now Saturday night the biggest night at the fair.  It was tractor pull night.  Jake and his friends were coming over for the tractor pull.  Jake and I spent most of the evening talking and hanging out with our friends.  It was late in the evening and Jake and I found ourselves alone for the first time and it was a beautiful hot summer evening really much like that first night I met him.  I wanted to remember this night forever because this was our first date (kinda).  This would also be the moment of our first kiss.
            The following Monday would be my 22nd birthday.  So of course I would want to go to my favorite restaurant the Pizza Cottage at Buckeye Lake.  Jackie and her boyfriend Jason, Jake and Greiner, Mary and I would all meet at Jackie’s to go to the Pizza Cottage.  We then headed to Weldon’s for ice cream.  This would be what Jake called our first date.  We argue about this fact still today.    

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