03 May 2011


One of my best friends in high school was Mykal. She and I sang in the choir together; she's an alto and I'm a soprano. She was fun and friendly and loud and I loved her.

We spent several days a week together between my sophmore and junior years of high school. We go "crusin'" in T-ville on the weekends; I had a fairly early curfew and her's was much later than mine.

I wasn't busted for breaking curfew too often. Once that I remember for sure, my dad was literally sitting just inside the front door as I opened it at one in the morning. And all he said was "We'll talk about this in the morning."

I'm pretty certain I spent a couple of weeks grounded.

And this morning, as I look out the window and a rain/snow mix is falling from the sky, I got the overwhelming urge to go to Shelbyville. Let me tell you about it.

Mykal worked at Subway sandwich shop in high school and it just so happened to be located directly across the street from the church my family and I attended where my dad was pastor. (This isn't really important to the story except that I was just thinking about that.)

The summer before my junior year which was also Mykal's senior year, she always had at least one day where if she didn't work at all, she wouldn't have to be to work until 4:00 and then she'd most often show up in my driveway in the "turd-mobile". (Her car was older and painted brown, thus the affectionate name, and for the record, could go (once) 100 miles an hour on the highway. It was just for a second that we went that fast, in case either her mom or mine read this...promise.)

And she'd say "Wanna go to Shelbyville?" That was where the man-made "beach" was located off Lake Shelbyville; you know, in the middle of central Illinois where there's so much culture. heehee. And of course I wanted to go; my only "job" was babysitting on the weekends, I had nothing holding me back.

As we drove to the beach with the windows down and the Meatloaf cassette blaring from the speakers, we figured that this was as good as life gets. We'd swim for hours, lay in the sun (I got some killer sunburns that year) and then we'd either hit DQ for dipped cones or KFC for chicken little sandwiches, fries and pop on our way back home; wind blowing in our hair, singing at the top of our lungs, not a care in the world for the afternoon.

Good times.

In the years since, we've kept in touch; even through those years she served in the military and was constantly on the move. She and another friend from high school drove hours to attend my wedding in 1995 and although we've kept in touch, I haven't laid eyes on her since.

I wonder if she's got time to go to Shelbyville.


Wife of Keith said...

awww!! Hugs to you. I know how sometimes reminiscing can make you happy and sad at the same time. Also, sometimes a little bit lonely.
I love you chicka!!

Emily said...

Those are some great memories of your friend. It so sad when we grow up and go our separate ways not fully keeping in touch with our old friends.

Thanks for the read... It made me think about my past too!

tommiseena said...

yes jen, her mom read it. for just a second?? you were not riding with mykal then, lolol.