Just Juniors Journal
The future of Lost Solace....Today.
"The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything."
THE MOST TOUCHING NIGHTS
Editor's note: After attending the Candlelight vigil at the Women's Center, all of the kids wanted to do this article. Not wishing to discourage this trend, I told them to write their articles, and I'd use each one. What follows is the entire collection. -L.
From Vesta Jones: The best yet worst experience of my life. It is sooo....hard to forget your past....But it is even harder to remember.
On October 19th, 2000 AD, some members of tthe LS Kids went to a Candlelight Vigil against domestic violence. There were T-shirts hanging on a clothesline to remember all the domestic violence survivors and victims.
It was sad enough to see all that, but the main thing that got to me was the stories. To sit and hear about all the women and children that have been abused and seen the violence....it's hard.
I've been through some rough times, but nothing quite as bad as the stuff I heard that night. Sitting back....Hearing the stories....memories flashed through my head. Tears swelled up in my eyes....God, no! I felt like I was reliving it all!
It was good for me, though. I'm glad I got to hear the stories from the other women and children. I felt like I wasn't the only one.
From Staci Wyland: On October 19, 2000, Vesta Jones, Sue Freeburn, Debbie Benfield, Lou, and I all went to an event at Triangle Park called the Candlelight Vigil. It is an event that is about domestic violence. We all shared a few tears and hugs. There were many guest speakers who have been through abuse. Some of the women cried as they told their stories. It was a very emotional night.
We've all been brought closer together by this as we realized how lucky we all were not to have it as bad. Most of the LS Kids have seen or experienced domestic violence, which made it even harder to watch. It brought back memories of some very hard times. It was a good experience, however, so that we know what to watch for, so we don't make the same mistakes.
From Sue Freeburn: October 19, 2000 at seven PM, the Women's Center held a Candlelight Vigil at Triangle Park in Lock Haven. There weren't many people there, but it made a large impact on the people that were. It also opened many people's eyes to the things that are happening that sometimes we are unaware of.
Many women and young teen girls stood up in front of everyone and told their stories about what happened to them. Everyone who was there with the LS Kids cried at least one time during the night.
After the tales were told, they had a candlelighting in memory of those who had been killed due to domestic violence. The candles were lit for two to three minutes and then blown out. They handed out purple ribbon pins and purple ribbons for car antennas. After the candlelighting was over, we all were invited into the Center for some cookies and juice.
Overall, it was a good night, and the vigil was something all of us, the LS Kids, needed to go to. Thank you, Lou.
October 7, at 9:30 AM on this beautiful Saturday morning, we set off for Lou's parents' house in Slatington, PA. After a three and a half hour drive, we finally arrived. Rudy the Dancing Beagle was there to greet us, along with all the cats and kittens.
As soon as we arrived, Lou'smother was making cookies, as I expected, and Lou's father was getting the tractor ready for the annual tour of the Christmas Tree farm. After setting off on the tour, we had to turn around because we had a flat tire.
Finally, we set off for the tour, and after having had surgery the day before, I wasn't enjoying the bumps too much. Afterward, we went to the home of Ginny Bixler (see sidebar, below.)
On the way home, we almost got back-ended in the car. We got back to the farm, built a fire, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, and then bed.
A "Homecoming" Sidebar
It was a chilly Saturday evening on October 7th, at about five PM. We all piled in the cars from Lou's parents' home and drove to Slatedale, about five minutes away.
We pulled in the driveway. Out came Ginny Bixler, owner of the farm we were there to see. And following was Rain, a beautiful brown dog. Rain was blind, but loved chasing rocks and bringing them back. Then everyone saw the horses, Devil's Quest and I Needa Jamaican Moon.
After a lot of oohing and aahing, We went to the barn and cleaned up Devil's Quest, and saddled him up.
Then we went out and all of us, Vesta, Staci, Lou, Michelle, Sue, Nick, and myself took a couple of rides around the corral.
Many pictures were taken and a lot of kisses were given to the horses. I think it was obvious that everyone was having a really good time. Vesta and I fulfilled our dreams by getting to ride a horse for the first time.
We were talking, and quickly made a decision. We want to go back. "Definitely," as quoted by most of us. Definitely something we want to do again.
-Wild horses couldn't drag me away!
DOGZ NOT: I LIKD THE KIDZ. I HAD FUN. THEY FED ME COOKIEZ AN STUF. I WANT THEM TO VIZIT AGAN SOON.
-RUDY THE DANSING BEEGEL
FOCUS ON BREAST CANCER
October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes in the United States. This cancer is one of the leading cancer killers among women, yet if detected early the risks can be significantly reduced and the prognosis can be improved.
With the improvements of treatment, more women are surviving the cancer. Nine out of ten women can survive it, but there is the other one who can't.
This subject has hit home fro me because this past June my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Right now, she is going through chemotherapy, but in June and July she went through three different surgeries. The first one was becausde her doctor found a lump in her right breast, which turned out to be cancer. For the second surgery, it was to remove the cancer and take samples of her lymph nodes to see if she had any cancer cells in them. There weren't.
The final surgery was to get the last of the cancer that was still there. The doctor got eveyrthing.
After she is finished with chemotherapy, she will radiation. After that, she should be done with the treatment, but nobody is certain. Everyone is wishing for the best, and so far, my mother is doing great.
For more information about breast cancer, contact your American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or at www.cancer.org.
-A very lucky and happy daughter
On October 17, 1998, Warrren Titus, 13, died in the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. That was two years ago this month.
The LS Kids have given money to Joyce Titus, Warren's mother, on two occasions. The first was in November 1998, to help with the funeral costs. They donated two hundred dollars.
The second time was in July 2000, when they donated thrity dollars toward a video of Waren, to be given to a man who got one of Warren's organs.
-We still remember, Warren.
WHITE FLAG OVER: Jedi
"Wow, that's really cool."
This is the typical kind of quote you get interviewing Jedi, the youngest member of the Lost Solace Team. Eighteen years old, a native New Yorker, the girl known as Jedi, or sometimes Jedicat, joined the team in the fall of 1999.
"I forget how I heard of Lost Solace," Jedi says. "From a search engine, a list, or another site or something. But I remember checking it out, and saying,'Wow, that's really cool. I want to be a part of that.'"
Currently in college, a resident of Staten Island ("Satan Island," Jedi calls it) Jedi lives with her family and her dog, Jesse. With an interest in computers, she enjoys designing elaborate websites, and fixing other people's computers. She reads. "A lot," she says,"Not just for school. I just finished Catch 22."
Jedi also writes poetry and stories. Despite the name, she is not, in fact, a Star Wars fan. "No, I'm not a massively scary Star Wars fanboy," she laughs. "I just like the way it sounds. Everybody calls me that."
Her favorite incident with the group, as with everything else about her, is atypical. "BiPagan was coming to New York, and she was all frantic about getting here. She asked me how to get to New York, and I said,'Take a plane.' And then she couldn't figure out how to get around when she got here...." Jedi laughs. "I live here....It's so easy for me, and BiPagan just couldn't figure it out."
The articulate, interesting teen gave me a few words of advice, too. "As much as high school isn't cool....College is a lot better."
The Just Juniors Journal is:
Assistant Editor: Michelle L. Archibald
President, Ethical Advisor: Vesta Jones
Vice-President: Brenda Geyer
Quartermaster: Destini Geraty
Staff: Staci Wyland, Susie Freeburn, Debbie Benfield, Ginger White
I legally became an adult about ten years ago. I realized just how much adulthood sucks about fifteen minutes after.
Generally, when we do a project here in Lock Haven, I'm the grownup. I'm the responsible, mature adult who makes sure things work out allright, and keeps an eye on the kids. But when we jumped in two cars and drove out to my parents' place this month, it was a bit of a different story.
There is something about your parents' house that immediately turns you back to the age of fifteen. Showing the kids what I used to do and where I used to play, I felt as if I were one of them, a kid again.
Tractor rides, long before I could drive a tractor. Running around the fields. Showing the kids where my forest fort used to be. When I showed Brenda and Susie the room I used to have, and how I used to sneak out the window, the couldn't wait to tell my mother. "Lou used to sneak out at night!"
"I don't believe this," I said. "You're telling on me. I'm thirty one years old, and you're telling my mother on me! I'm an adult now! You can't do this, I'm thirty one!" (By the way, Claymore, sorry I haven't called lately. I been grounded.)
I played with the kids, fifteen again myself. And at one point, when Dad was changing the flat tire on the tractor, I looked around at all of them, enjoying themselves, and I felt good. Happy and satisfied.
I feel like one of them again, I thought. I feel young, and enthusiastic, and full of hope, just like them. Look at how happy they all are, Susie playing with Rudy, Vesta and the cats, Brenda climbing on the dead limb up there in that old maple tree....
Huh? Wait a minute. Tree?!?
"BRENDA! Are you freaking crazy?!? Get off that dead limb, you're gonna fall forty feet and break your head open! I don't CARE if your mother lets you do it, get out of the damn tree!!!"
Well. Maybe I haven't reverted all the way back to childhood, after all. But I have good memories from when I was a kid, and in a few years, I'll have some good memories from when they were.
And so will they.