Category Archives: Childhood Friends

Faces: Drew C

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Faces: : Drew C

Places:  North Beach, Chicago, IL

Oh my!:  Beachy fun in the summer sun

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Lawyer.  Lovable.  Loyal. 



This is Drew: old high school sweetheart, current friend.  We go way back to the AIM, DQ, Chem days–back when I was fifteen.  Drew and I technically grew up together from a young age at the same church and school, but it wasn’t until we were in Chemistry class in high school together that we really got to know each other.  I was part of a naughty crew in the back corner of the room who passed notes and cracked jokes–and poor Drew was stuck in the mix.  He usually minded his own business politely, but when finals rolled around, he–and his cheat sheet–became a key role in Chemistry class.  We were allowed one page as a cheat sheet for our monster final, and Drew had created the ultimate page.  We traded Aol Instant Messenger id’s (for those of you who don’t know what AIM stands for) to get in touch about this cheat sheet.  (This was before high schoolers had texting…)  And the rest was history. 

While most high school relationships these days start over texting or Facebook, ours started on good old AOL.  Soon after we shared screen names, we found ourselves chatting online for hours about life, religion, friendships, and other normal highschooler type things.  And of course, as every good Mahomet high-schooler works at either IGA or Dairy Queen at some point in time, we both soon after found ourselves working together at Dairy Queen.  Before we knew it, our blossoming friendship turned into “dating” and things became official.  (That is, after I turned 16 and was allowed to date and my parents sat down with me and gave me a list of about 50 rules…)

Obviously, we have since broken up, but we spent 2 fun years as a hot-teen-item, graduated from the same high school and college, and are still friends and still living in Illinois.  Drew is now a practicing lawyer at a legal clinic in Chicago, and spends his free time coming up with creative works of words at Wormhole.  (Yes, another writer friend!)  As Drew’s writing mantra is, “Show, don’t tell,” I will end this post by showing you, rather than telling you, about him through sharing some more pics we took at our last visit to the beach as well as a short story he wrote that also takes place at a beach.

College Graduates, Established People

By Drew C.

We took the golf car in the dark down the narrow road past a place call The Well. It wasn’t a church exactly because the resort was an incorporated entity, but instead called itself the community “worship center.” The sign out front read: “How do you want to spend eternity: smoking or non-smoking?” Its parking lot had golf car-sized spaces, and each intersection on the road had miniature stop signs. We were in, 1) an improbably large model village that wasn’t quite life-sized, 2) the golf car capitol of the State of Michigan, 3) the only beach community in America with its own Statement of Faith. We were in Bethany Beach.

We had been told to come back to the lakefront for fireworks.

“It could be a Wheaton graduation celebration,” Mrs. Green had said. We had all finished our senior year there in May. “And S.B. gets so worked up over his fireworks.” S.B. was her husband.

We got back to the beach at dark and there were no fireworks, only a firework singular, which my friend Frances had brought. None of us knew why he had brought it with him on the trip. It was a fountain. S.B. kept looking through his bag of tricks, trying to dig up something other than sparklers or punks. His wife and daughter were with him. His daughter was about five. She loved the sparklers.

Finally, S.B. took his golf car to go get something else from his home. Frances set off his fountain while we waited. It was pretty good, with a few whooping bottlerocket-like shots into the darkness, but after a minute or so it was over and we all had a “well, I guess that’s that” feeling.

Then S.B. returned and took a strange, bulky object out of his passenger seat and put it under one arm and walked up. We all assumed it was some really big  firework, but as he got closer it turned out to be a lawn ornament: a rather squat fairy princess with wand that must have been some sort of Christmas yard decoration. S.B. asked rhetorically who wants to blow something up, but we answered we had already used up the firework. He walked over to inspect the remains of the fountain, to be sure.

“Well, who wants to prank someone then?” he asked rather desperately.

I suggested we throw it up on the roof of The Well. I was a little drunk. Frances said he had a better idea, then took the doll and stuck the smoldering punk he had used earlier between her painted-on lips. It looked like a cigarette in a holder.

“Now we can break in and put it in the girl’s restroom,” he said. “Like the bad girl’s bathroom in junior high.” The Greens looked unhappy. We all laughed.

S.B’s daughter started crying just then. I think we had forgotten she was still there.

“Oh, honey,” Mrs. Green said as she bent down to her daughter, “What’s the matter?”

The girl answered, still crying, “Why do they get to do bad things to the church? I don’t like it.”

Mrs. Green straightened up and looked at S.B., who gave a slight shrug. Then she looked back down to her daughter, “It’s okay, honey. It’s okay. These are college graduates, established people. They know what they’re doing. It’s okay.” The Greens all went home then. We took the golf car back to The Well. The doors were locked and the roof was unreachably high. Eventually we just hung the smoking Christmas decoration with some rope to a tree out front and left.

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Faces: Hannah Green

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Faces:  Hannah Green

Places:  Mahomet, IL

Oh my!:  Celebrating Hannah’s high school graduation with an interview and my very first photo shoot

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I have to say that this is one of my all time favorite pictures.  But unfortunately, I can’t claim it as my own.  I can say, however, that I used to babysit each one of these lucky kids!  Today’s post will be featuring the lovely young lady on the top right hand corner, Hannah.  (The adorable boy is my studly brother, and the baby is Hannah’s darling sister.)

Hannah is my mom’s best friend’s daughter.  We grew up together, or as she explains, I “raised” her.  We spent many a day/ night together as a babysitting duo, and to this day we are friends.  This past December, Hannah graduated from high school as early as she possibly could and embarked on an adventure to England before starting her undergraduate studies at Parkland College.  As a very unique individual, we wanted to capture some senior photos that differed from the average cheesy-smiled, cross-armed portrait.  Of course, we had to have some traditionals to please the crowd like,

Hannah smiling:

Hannah looking pretty:

and Hannah with her favorite books:

But we were sure to capture some portraits that said something more than, “Look at what a cute high schooler I was!”  We wanted to tell more of a story of what Hannah’s life was like in high school.  So we added a few more–none of which we printed as wallets, but they’re fun for the record…

How Hannah felt about high school:

What Hannah did in her spare time (just kidding!):

How Indie-Awesome she was:

Aaaand what a dork she REALLY was (Hipster dork, that is):

I did a little interview with Hannah to find out more about what is behind that beautiful smile of hers, and we touched on all sorts of great topics like her time in England, her goals for the future, and what it was like being raised by adoptive parents. Read on for a sneak peak into Hannah’s life:

Q:  You recently went on a trip to England.  Tell me more about the trip.

A: I graduated early in hopes to make a difference in the lives of others.  But really, I was the one who changed; those around me helped me, rather than the other way around.

I was in Derby England, in a lower-income neighborhood with mostly Pakistani people and a few Roma Gypsies. I lived with the Adams family, friends of a family I am very close with. I did everything from working in a school, having weekly lunches with Pakistani people I met, to hanging out in a homeless shelter for teenagers.

Q:  How did living abroad for two months challenge your perspective?

A: As a religiously raised person, I was challenged, more so than anything, to take a step back from most of the things I had learned in church growing up.  I had to figure out what I believed, rather than what those teaching me believed.  During this time, my world view and religious views truly became my own. (Not that I have everything figured out by any means). I saw that the Muslims I met were some of the most dedicated, faith-filled people I had ever met, so it was such an inspiration and wake up call for me.

Q:  What things did you come to appreciate about the States after experiencing life in another country?

A: FOOD!  We have such good food in America; not that other places don’t, but in the States, you can pretty much get it all.  I also came to appreciate my close friends and family. I plan on seeing the world after college (and for the rest of my life), so two months away really made me realize that I need to appreciate every moment I get to spend with them.

Q:  Do you recommend international travel to people your age?

A: Yes!  And I recommend always keeping an open mind. Don’t ever think you have the right to judge other people’s cultures or ways of life; you are not doing things the “right” way, just a different way.

Q:  What are you studying in college?

A: I am studying Sociology, and I plan on using my degree in some sort of humanitarian, non-profit organization.

Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: In the next five years, I’d like to move out somewhere on the East coast. I assume I will go to grad school, but I may take a break in between college and grad school to teach English in another country. I’d like to have gone on many more adventures between now and then.  Hopefully, I’ll have some sort of organization in mind that I’d like to be working for–or even starting my own organization–who knows!?

Q:  In 10?

A: I’d like to have my graduate degree and be working for a non-profit, possibly doing something to prevent human trafficking. I plan to be traveling a lot, as I am sure my wanderlust will still be a huge part of my life.  Also, I’ll be 28, so hopefully an engagement ring, although, I have a feeling it will be a challenge finding someone who wants the same life as me; so we’ll see about that last one.

Q:  You were adopted as a baby by two very loving parents.  How do you feel growing up as an adopted child differs from those who are raised by their biological parents?

A: I feel that there aren’t too many differences.  Sometimes I even forget that I’m adopted, and then I’ll be like, “Oh, weird!”  But for the most part, my parents were the same as many other parents that I know.

Q:  What are some of the struggles or challenges you’ve faced as an adoptee?

A: Growing up was tough. For a long time, I had the idea in my head that if the two people who created me didn’t want me, who else would? Thinking that for so long really messed up my way of thinking, as well as my self-esteem.  It ruined many of my relationships because I thought that no one actually liked me and that I was a burden on everyone.

Also, in terms of Evangelical Christianity, the faith in which I was raised, hearing that sex is the worst sin a teenager could possibly commit really hurt me because it made me feel that my very birth was the result of “sin.”

Q:  What is the most important thing you have learned in your 18 years of life?

A: Oh man.  To just be myself.  That sounds so cliche, but really, I’m persistent and have a hard time taking no for an answer.  So if I’m myself, I get stuff done and provide opportunities for myself. It also makes my friendships more legitimate because I never pretend to be something that I am not.

Well, that’s it, folks, Hannah on traveling, her life, and adoption.  Hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about my dear friend, and best wishes to all of your future endeavors, Hannah!

If you know Hannah and like her as much as I do, feel free to leave a comment or story about her.