THE BEST OF CLINTON COUNTY PARADE
The annual Best of Clinton County Parade was held at eleven AM on June 24, 2006. The LS Kids joined in, as they do every summer, with Lou, Cris Miller, Mike Schedin, Carleah Stabley, Tiffany Allen, and Robin Prescott showing up.
This year, the Kids decided to feature the best sights of Clinton County by recreating them on their float, which essentially consisted of the mini-van. "I live in the hope of one day getting a wagon for these things," Lou claims,"But until then, the Windstar will have to do."
The Kids made paper or cardboard representations of the Logan Mills Covered Bridge, the Farrandsville Iron Furnace, Hyner View State Park, the Constitution Bridge, and a Piper Cub. Paintings of the Heisey Museum and the courthouse were supplied by Amber Snow, and highway signs were hung up to label each of the sights, designed by Lou. A sign on the front, drawn by Mike, labelled the entire float.
The Kids threw candy to the crowd, and Cris sat in the covered bridge and pretended to fish, using Tif's orthopedic crutch as a fishing rod.
LS Kid President Meghan Rockey graduated from Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School in June of 2006. This made her the eighth LS Kid to graduate high school while still active in the group. Graduation was held at the one end zone of Heinz Stadium, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"Wow," Meghan said. "Graduation was amazing. Pittsburgh was amazing. We got to Pittsburgh about 1PM or so and we had the hotel's shuttle bus take us somewhere for lunch. The shuttle bus driver gave us a really nice tour of the town and then dropped us off at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Great place to eat."
There were about 180 kids that showed up for the ceremony, but there were more than 400 kids in the graduating class. The mayor of Pittsburgh was there and he made a speech. Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania, gave a speech over the jumbotron. When the students were handed the diploma, they got a chance to be on the jumbotron while their names and hometowns showed up on the other jumbotron.
"Congratulations on graduating, hon," said Lou. "Another LS Kid gets their diploma---Way to go. I'm proud of you."
Meghan joined the group in late 2003. She plans to attend Lock Haven University, and attain a teaching degree.
"Congrats to everyone from the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School class of '06!," commented Meghan. "We made it!"
-Meghan Rockey, President
Last month, LSK leader Lou got a new dog. Duke, a mix between a Jack Russell terrier and a pug, came to live with Lou, his wife Michelle, and their other two dogs, Sam and Kat, sometime in mid-June. Duke had been abused at his previous home, and it took him a few weeks to adjust to his new home, but now he is doing quite well and seems to be very happy.
Like all dogs, Duke has a very unique personality. Heís very loveable, and enjoys sitting on peopleís laps -- especially Louís. Heís also fond of popcorn, and is very talented at catching it (and other treats, of course) in midair, sometimes even from across the room. He also likes to occasionally escape from the house by darting between the feet of anyone who leaves the door open for too long, a habit which isnít too fun for Lou, who then has to chase him down the street and carry him home again. Lou and Michelle (and their guests), are hoping that as more time goes by, Duke will find some form of entertainment other than his wild joy-runs around the block, and Duke has, in fact, done it very little over the past few weeks. Thatís because heís generally happy no matter what heís doing. Thereís only one thing he really doesnít like: the basement stairs. Canít say that I blame him there.
NEW YORK- Well. School is out now, and I'm happy. Next year I will be in ninth grade. It will be fun, because most of my friends are going into tenth. But I will miss eighth grade. I'll miss being the big hot-shot eighth grader that all the sixth graders feared. Now I will be at the bottom of the food-chain. But that's okay. Everything will work out.
I remember when I came back to Wellsville School. All my friends attacked me, and now most of us have grown apart. But sometimes I wonder if they were really my friends at all. It doesn't matter, though. I made new friends in both the schools that I went to in eighth grade, and I love them all.
I really don't know what else to say, except that I'm going to miss my memories of this year.
Things are going great! I am getting symbology really easy. Seriously, I am one of the only privates in my class that gets it. The Sgt running the class is always looking over my shoulder and looking at my symbols. Which is a good thing....He doesn't comment, he just watches.
Hee hee. Drawing is something I can do well.
This weekend, four-day weekend and four PEs to do. But I don't mind, I have a twelve-hour shift and I can get all of that crap done during that.
And Crissy, if you're reading this, e-mail me or something.
RHYME AND REASON
A Surviving Angel
I sat with arms stretched out.
Clinging to the rain.
Hoping hope would rise for once,
And I'd forget your name.
The marks you left upon this face,
Ones I can't forget,
Though the strength of hate for you,
You're one I don't regret.
I hear the tears falling
From the seraphims from above,
They know the hurt and anger,
Filling this heart of love.
This rain hides my emotions,
My ongoing fear,
But for every rain drop falling,
It hides so many tears
I hear the angels crying,
"One of us has fallen"
And I hear them coming
Because they heard me calling
Of hope and tears,
Arises a faith.
And in these whispers,
I surpassed your fate.
You meant to bring me down,
By emotions and the hurt
But I'm stronger than you pictured,
I'm stronger than your work.
I will not fall to you,
I will cry no longer,
Because this angel came to me.
And his love has made me stronger.
HELL ON WHEELS
I have come home.
I thought this yesterday as I sat out on the balcony of my new apartment building, looking down at Lock Haven from five stories high. It really is a fantastic sight. You can see the whole shebang from up there: the railroad, the courthouse towers, even these little houses and streams tucked along the sides of the mountains. I get a peaceful feeling up there on the balcony, a feeling Iíve rarely had before. Itís almost like everything falls into place for just a few minutes, and I know, at least for a little while, that all my troubles are solvable, that all my worries will work themselves out, and that I will be just fine.
When I think about what brought me here, it seems impossible that I could be so happy now. I came to Lock Haven in July of 2005, scared, hurt, and grieving a lot of losses. At that point in my life, I didnít think Iíd ever be happy again. Sometimes I love being wrong. Thereís something about this place that just seems to heal. I love the people, the history, the beauty. I sit out on my balcony, and my heart is at peace. Itís amazing.
The point to this column is more of a personal testimony than anything else. See, I have discovered something that I think is worth sharing. I have discovered that life is hard, and sometimes it hurts, and sometimes it seems like youíll never be able to run fast enough to keep up with where it seems to be going. The world is a shambles. Husbands beat their wives, parents kill their children, and injustice leaps out from behind every tree. Thereís always a hurdle in the road. And yet, despite all this, life is worth living. Itís worth living because of the lady who smiles at you in the grocery store, or because of a hug from a friend or a glass of iced tea from a neighbor. Itís worth living for a red carnation on Pentecost Sunday, for puppy kisses or the smell of incense or a million other things we tend to overlook or take for granted.
So if youíre going through a hard time right now, as some of you probably are, donít give up. Keep moving forward, even when youíd much rather just quit life and never get out of bed again. It will get better. As a survivor, I know what itís like to feel like youíre drowning in all the pain you carry around. I know that sometimes it seems as if no future, no matter how good, will ever be quite good enough to make life worth the struggle. I also know youíd be surprised at how a hundred little things can make up for one gigantic heartache. Someday youíll find out. Someday not too far from now, maybe even tomorrow, youíll find your balcony and your glass of tea and a town that wraps around you like a hug, and youíll be able to say:
I have come home.
The JJJ Is:
Assistant Leader: Tiffany Allen
President: Meghan Rockey
Vice-President: Biz Albright
Staff: Shelby Sander, Carleah Stabley, Jess Cummings, Cris Miller, Debbie Benfield, Krystle Welch, MarKel Wheeland, Robin Prescott, Ida Yost
Distant Correspondents: MacKenzie Brundage, Regina Spence, Amber Snow, Chelsey Crouchley, Goth Lizz
Foreign Bureau: Janice Marco
Due to a busy work schedule, the Editor hasn't had time to write up a new column this month. During the busy period, the JJJ will be re-running some of the Editor's best columns. The Editor makes no excuses for this, and hopes the readers understand.
This column originally ran in 2005. -L.
It's late. As I write this, it's after midnight. Biz Albright is downstairs, sleeping on the couch. At least, I think she's sleeping---Chances are, she stayed up a while more to draw, or work on her writing, or something.
It's been a busy month. The parade, D&D games, little get-togethers here and there....I've been spending a lot of time with the Kids, doing things. Not every little thing we do makes the JJJ, you know.
And, thinking about it, I like those moments. A lot. Just the quiet, small quality times that the Kids and I spend together.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I love the big, exciting things, too. The parades, the Relays, the projects, all the stuff that gets all the attention---Yeah, I like that. It's good. But I like the quiet things we do, the times we just spend time together, enjoying one another, just as much.
I wonder if this is how my father felt. (I wondered the same thing during the parde, when the whole tent-on-the-van thing reminded me remarkably of something my father would have come up with.) With all of the big things that we did, I wonder if he liked the small moments that we spent together, as well.
Probably, but I'll never know. The only way to find out is to talk to him about it, and I'd be mortified.
But I like those quality times we spend together. Watching a movie with Biz, going for a walk with Meghan, sitting on the porch talking with Krystle, discussing Harry Potter stuff with Debbie, phone calls to Tif. You'll never see an article about any of it, but those are the moments I enjoy immensely.
At the moment, it's late. And as I write this message to you, both Biz and I are about to fall asleep. We've been up talking, watching the Wookiee Life Day Special on video. (Don't ask.) Just one of those moments.
I think tomorrow, we'll go out on a treasure hunt. There's a lost cache of old money that we've both been talking about searching for. Tomorrow morning, it's back to the big stuff. But for now....We had a quiet, quality moment in front of the TV. And I like that.
Nothing huge and exciting about it. Nothing too special. Just a small moment when I spend time with a Kid....And that's what's most important.
-"Why do I always think that getting you home for Life Day is gonna be easy?"