Faces: : Drew C

Places:  North Beach, Chicago, IL

Oh my!:  Beachy fun in the summer sun


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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