JUST JUNIORS JOURNAL
Excitement and education. All at once.
"We've been together for years now, and our loyalty is to each other, not to a service group."
-Lou, January 2000
THE LS KIDS
On Sunday, April 21st, 2002, around 10:30 AM, the LS Kids set off on a road trip. Those who went were Vesta, Brenda, Staci, and Mia in Vesta's car, and Lou, Michelle, and Sam in Michelle's car. With a stop for gas and soda on the go, we were off!
First stop, Three Mile Island. This island was like a long strip of land with these concrete tubes coming out of it. These were part of a nuclear reactor. Really, it was here that a nuclear meltdown occurred in 1979.
Back in the car, on the road again, this time to Fort Indiantown Gap, where we saw the soldiers' monuments with all the "in memory of" bricks. Not to mention the restrooms, which were awesome, made of glass and metal, decked out with marble sinks.
Next stop, Centralia, where the LS Kids had gone in January. Mia insisted we "float" through every big cloud of smoke imaginable. I'm the only one who had never been there before, and boy, was it ever cool! The clouds of smoke kept us warm, considering it was a damp, rainy, breezy day.
With another stop at the store for our sudden urge of munchies, we were ready to roll home. Vesta went her way as we all piled into Michelle's back seat, waving to Vesta goodbye. It was a fun day. Who ever knew education could be so fun?
-Wendy's baked potatoes....Broccoli and cheese....
FIVE YEARS TOGETHER
This issue is a big one for the staff of the JJJ. With this issue, the Just Juniors Journal has been in print continuously for five years.
It was started in May 1997. Lou returned from living in Utah in Decmber 1996, and started the kids' group under the prvious organization. He got the idea to do a newsletter soon after, and since then, the kids have not missed a single issue.
Vesta Jones joined soon after, in August of 1998. And then Brenda, in February 1999. In January 2000, the kids joined Lost Solace, and turned into the LS Kids. And I joined, just last summer, in August 2001!
On April 7th, 2002, the LS Kids helped the AAUW set up the annual book sale. Marjorie Shelley, Staci Wyland, Sarah Wilson, and her boyfriend Scott, all helped set up the tables first.
After that, they had to wait for the books to arrive. When they finally came, they had to carry tons of boxes into the United Covenant Methodist Church.
The LS Kids had to unload the books and set them up nicely. Finally, they were done for the day.
On April 13, 2002, the LS Kids helped clean up after the AAUW's annual book sale. Debbie Benfield, Maria Shelley, Marjorie Shelley, Staci Wyland, and Lou all carried boxes and boxes of books out of the church and into several trucks.
Once the recycling truck was overflowing with books and empty boxes, Debbie, Marjorie, Mia, and Staci all climbed up on the truck and compacted the boxes by jumping on them.
After compacting the boxes, the Kids all loaded boxes of books into the trucks to send to the warehouse for next year's book sale.
Lou bought each Kid a bag of books, which they picked up and went home.
MARJIE ON STAGE
Marjorie Shelley, External Vice-President of the LS Kids, was in a chorus concert on April 4, 2002 AD. The concert was held at Central Mountain High School, beginning at seven PM, as part of the school's Renaissance Fair.
Marjorie, 15, invited Lou, Michelle, and Staci Wyland to come and see her perform. As part of the Choristers, Marjorie sang four songs, including a 16th century Spanish carol and a Jamaican folk song.
Across the hall, in the gym, an art show was held.
Also performing in the concert were reserve members Kendra Koch and Kristi Lyn Bloodgood.
On April 7th, the LS Kids took several boxes of clothes, stufed animals, games, toys, and other miscellaneous things to the Salvation Army donation box on Church Street. Marjorie Shelley and Staci Wyland sorted through the boxes, and Sarah Wilson, her boyfriend Scott, Lou, and his fiancee Michelle took the boxes to the drop box.
These boxes were given to the LS Kids by Lou's co-worker, Karen Leonard.
BRUSH FIRE IN ST. LOUIS
On Wednesday, April 3, 2002 around 1:15 PM, in St. Louis,
Missouri, on the ramp from New Florisant Road onto I70 I witnessed a fire on the shoulder in the grass. I was trying to decide whether or not to stop and assist a man who was trying to put the fire out.
However, his efforts were not helping at all. In fact, from what I saw it was making the fire spread, so I decided not to stop. But I didn't just drive away and forget about
it. I got on my cell phone and called for a fire truck.
On April 7, 2002, as I drove by that spot, I noticed that the tree and all of the grass are completly blackened from the fire. As far as I know, no one was severely hurt in this fire, but that man that was trying to put the fire out got a little burn on his arm when the tree went up in flames right in front of his face.
You never know who you can trust....
On Thursday, March 21, 2002 AD, I went to my friend's house to pick her and two other kids up for school. She wasn't
going that day, but she asked if I would take the other two anyway. Since I was already there, I said sure.
I didn't know the other two very well; first name basis, that was it. We got to school and the one kid asked if he could put something in my glove compartment. He asked if he could put marijuana in my car.
I told him no!!! I didnt want that @#*% in my car.
After I got out, without me knowing, he did anyway.
Later on in the school day, I was pulled out of class. The principal was there and told me that another student had
seen marijuana in my car.
I told the principal that he had asked if he could put
it in my car, but I told him no. The principal was going to call my mom to ask permission to search my car, but I told her that i would go out and look. If it was there I would bring it to her. I didn't want it in my car.
So I went out with a teacher to get it. Sure enough, it was in the glove compartment.
The other student that had been with me that morning was called to the office, and he told them that it was not mine. My mother was called to the school, along with
the cops. The kid that put it in my car will be getting fined and taken care of.
As for me and the other kid, we got five days' suspension. The marijuana was not mine, but because it was in my car, I got in trouble.
I was suspended....but it's okay now. My mom wasn't mad at me and I didn't get in trouble with her. But it was an experience I don't wanna relive!!! I get to go back to scool after easter vacation.
You never know who you can trust.
-DCS Bureau Head
HOW DRUGS HURT YOU AND OTHERS AROUND YOU
Drugs are very harmful. They hurt you and others around you. They hurt you by causing your system to mess up.
When you die of drugs, you are a person that doesn't care about yourself and doesn't care what happens to you. Well, you should know that others care about you. Maybe they dont show it, but they do love you, and they do care about you and what happens to you. I want to tell you a story about drugs and how it hurts others around you and hopefully you will learn your lesson.
My Mom had a friend named Candi. They had been friends ever since the sixth grade. Candi was there when my mom needed her and when Candi needed my mom she was there. Candi was there when my mom got married and watched us grow up.
Candi was like a mom in a way to me. She used to tell me a lot of neat stuff that I didn't know about. I wish she was here now to help me out with my guy problems.
About a year ago, her and my mom had a fight. Candi had started dating this guy and he was not the one for her. He got her into doing drugs and she got into a bad crowd. January 27, 2002, she died of a drug overdose.
Candi left behind a 13 year old son who loved her dearly. Also, she had family members.
I went to her funeral. I haven't stopped crying, not even this day. I don't think I will ever forget her, and I know that I will never do drugs because I will lose too many family members and friends that I love dearly.
So, if you are a person who does drugs please give them up. They are not worth your time. You have a long life to live ahead of you. You don't want your life to be wasted on a bunch of drugs. Look at yourself and say,"I am not only hurting my body, but I am hurting others around me who love me."
Hopefully, you have learned your lesson after this story. I know I have.
Editor's Note: I ran the two preceding articles together for an obvious reason. The subject gets a bit deeper than the JJJ usually deals with, but it is an important message that needs to reach the kids. No drugs. Never. No way. -L.
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: The Lock Haven AAUW, whom we do the book sale for, took the time to thank us in the local newspaper for the second year in a row. While we don't help people for credit, it's still nice to receive it. Looking forward to next year's book sale.
Deplore It: Judith Levine, author of the book Harmful To Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, suggests that children as young as twelve be legally allowed to choose to have sex with an adult. Levine says,"Teens often seek out sex with older people....An older person makes them feel sexy and grown-up."
But teens aren't grown up, certainly not enough to commit to sex with adults. Levine has some funny ideas about maturity, and perhaps needs to grow up herself.
The Just Juniors Journal Is:
President: Brenda Geyer
IVP: Staci Wyland
EVP: Marjorie Shelley
Secretary: Debbie Benfield
Quartermaster: Mia Shelley
Staff: Ginger White
Renovo Bureau: Sarah Wilson, Meghan Wilson
DCS Bureau Head: Vesta Jones
Distant Correspondents: Amber Fleming, Kazlynn Otto, Rachel Wykry
Well, it's been five years.
That amazes me---I've had moments when I didn't think this project was going to run another month, and when I started it in 1997, I certainly didn't think it would still be around five years from now.
We've had anniversary issues before---Four before this, on the anniversary of the JJJ; four on the creation of the group; and two on our becoming the LS Kids. Amazingly, nobody seems to be getting tired of reading them, but it gets harder and harder for me to come up with ideas for this column. It may not surprise you to hear that I've tended to repeat myself.
I've recounted the creation of the newsletter at least twice, I've told funny stories from the past, and I've rehashed our history. I've even rewritten old columns to pass them off as fresh and original.
So this year, I decided to do something different. I'm writing a new type of column (for me, at least) and, in another original move, at the end of the column, there will be a chance for the readers to participate themselves.
I'm writing, in this column, about the five greatest moments in the JJJ. These are the moments that I enjoyed myself, the moments that we got the most fan mail on, and I knew it was coming. These moments seemed to grab everyone's attention, and hold it; they may not have been your favorites, but they were pretty unanimously the memorable times among me, the kids, and most of the readers.
First issue. January 2000. I still get questions on this issue. Somehow, no matter what we've done since, our seceding on the old organization and joining Lost Solace still grabs peoples' attention.
The candlelight vigil against abuse. November 2000. The kids and I went to this stand against abuse in Triangle Park. We all cried, and we all learned a few things. Each kid wanted to write part of the article, and it went over big with the readers.
I propose to Michelle. September 2001. Just in time for her thirtieth birthday, I proposed to my current fiancee, right here in this column. That seemed to strike a chord, mostly with female readers. I don't think I've ever had so many people curious as to what came next.
Vesta Jones moves away. Special, January 2002. Vesta, the Kid who had been with me longest, moved to Ickesburg. This touching tribute to her made everyone cry, including Vesta and myself.
Amber Fleming puts her abuser in jail. March 2002. If I ever suspected that the readers weren't paying attention, the sheer volume of supportive mail Amber got showed me different. After Amber took a stand for both of us, everyone wrote in to congratulate her.
These are some of the best moments we've had. Now, if there are any I've missed, or any that you disagree on, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll run your suggestions and comments in a future column.
And, now, we step into the future, the kids and I. To create more of these moments, and share them.
-On to ten!