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by Andrew Garcilazo Communication Major
loved camping as a kid. I still do, but I loved it more back then. I was a kid. I wanted—I craved—adventure. Camping was how I got it. One time, this thirst for adventure nearly cost me my life. It was just another lazy summer afternoon, and I had my tent set up outside. It had been in that spot for a few days, and I had intended to move camp to a new location—preferably under a nice-looking tree. I don’t remember exactly why, but for some reason I didn’t camp out that night. I moved my tent underneath the tree, and my sleeping bag was set up inside. There wasn’t a reason not to sleep out. From what I remember, it was a beautiful night. I probably fell asleep on the couch watching the Angels play ball. That seemed to happen a lot. Maybe I just got so tired that I couldn’t even make the short walk to my tent. Whatever the reason, it saved my life.
Contents Trees p. 4 Mindi Rahn
Playground Detectives p. 4 Caitlin Foster
Pal’s Great Escape
Photo courtesy of pennsic.net When we woke up that morning, a massive tree branch, one that I had climbed on numerous occasions, lay on top of my tent. I would have been crushed. I would have died, aged only to single digits. It’s a good story. It makes me seem adventurous, somehow, to have almost been smashed by a giant tree. It was an adventure, and that was what I was looking for, even though I hadn’t been anywhere close to being harmed. I once thought I could run away from home—that would be adventurous. I actually packed my bags once, stepped out the front door. I took a quick look around at the gloomy night sky, at a few strangers passing by, and thought better of it. No, running away wasn’t exciting enough. I was too good for it. I needed to go find a wild boar and spear it! Yes, that would be an adventure. Maybe I’d become a shipwrecked sailor and live like Robinson Crusoe. Maybe become a world-famous athlete—yes, that would be a story. I’d always set up my tiny green Aframe tent in the luxurious backyard of my childhood home. If I couldn’t spear a boar or become the next Robinson Crusoe, then I might as well use my imagination. At least then I wouldn’t be bored. Summers were especially fun because I didn’t have school and had nothing to wake up for.
I’d sleep out there for days. It was my own second room. It got me out of the house and took me to a world of great wonders. I’d bring with me some of my prized teddy bears that I played with and would pretend I was a great traveler. After a couple of days sleeping in a particular spot, I had to migrate. My migration was vital to the health of our perfectly green backyard grass. Camp too long in one spot, and the tender sheaths would wither and die. Sunlight was crucial to their wellbeing. I’d drag my tent a few yards away, and a light green, rectangular patch of grass would be left in my wake. I’d set up residence in the next spot I thought fit—usually some place new and exciting, like behind the garage or beneath the cypress trees. Adventure. My boyhood was filled with the possibility of it. Books and movies filled the void for a bit, but they only seemed to whet my appetite. I could only be Indiana Jones for two hours and only Frodo Baggins for three hundred pages. As much as I searched, as far as I searched, I couldn’t seem to find thrill and excitement that I was sure lurked just around the corner. I didn’t realize that I was already living an adventure—the adventure of life.
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Title of Magazine 100 Taylor Circle Collegedale, TN 37315 Copyright Information Editor: Janelle Sundin Contributors: Ashlee Chism Andrew Garcilazo Becky Whetmore Caitlin Foster Greg Rumsey Mindi Rahn Philip Van Arsdale
Submissions, Comments, Concerns? Call or email Janelle Sundin at: (360) 901-8148 firstname.lastname@example.org 2| The Bubblegum Machine
A Note from the Editor
Janelle Sundin Every story recorded here, every
ome people focus on the big things in life-- weddings and funerals, job promotions, moves from place to place. But lives are not made up of big things. And as each new season of a life appears, the small moments are what we remember, what we share with one another. I vividly remember the feel of my first dog’s fur, the wonder I felt when I crafted my first story, the strange entertainments my cousins, sister, and I made up for ourselves on lazy Sabbath afternoons. Of course, when I share any of these things with other people, they have a million moments just like them to offer in return. We all have small things stacked in the attics of our hearts, precious things that deserve a place where other people can enjoy them, too. This newsletter is just such a place.
snapshot, is true. It is written here just as the people who saved it recall it. Each one is someone’s favorite memory or most embarrassing moment or story most likely to offer at a dinner party. While few of them would be recorded in anyone’s official list of accomplishments, they are, in essence, what make up life, what bind us together, what make us a community. These tidbits are us, and if nothing else, they exist to remind us of who we are and where we come from, to show us that we are not so different from each other, after all. Everyone had childhood adventures. Everyone got in trouble. Everyone experienced young love, and everyone experienced heartbreak. Everyone has lived. We all have stories to share.
Toy Story 3 and Me Ashlee Chism English Major
In the summer of 2009, my parents had to move out of the house where we had lived for 13 years, the house where I had done the majority of my growing up. I had to drive home from the summer camp where I was working in order to sort through the possessions that had stacked up through those 13 years. I sorted for nine hours total, tossing items into one of three piles: School, Storage, or Do Whatever You Want With. (I think my sister ended up pilfering through that last pile.) Anyway, my Barbies and a majority of my stuffed animals ended up in the Storage pile because I couldn’t bear to part with them but couldn’t take them back to university with me. Later that summer, I went on a day off with some of the other camp staff to a nearby town to watch a movie.
We ended up watching Toy Story 3, where the lead character, Andy, has to decide what to do with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang. I won’t give the ending completely away, but watching Andy go through what I had pretty much just done reminded me of when I had seen the original Toy Story. Back then, like any other 8-year-old in 1995, I had entertained the thought that toys could come alive and have actual feelings. With tears in my eyes, I wondered how the toys that I couldn’t bear to part with but couldn’t bring along were faring in my parents’ storage unit as I sat there in that dark movie theater. I knew that toys couldn’t come alive, but I still was caught up in the feeling of nostalgia for the life I had had, the life I would never have again, for my childhood.
The first rubber ducks were made in the early 1800s. They couldn’t float, they couldn’t squeak, and they certainly weren’t anybody’s best friend.
The Rise of the Rubber Ducky
In 1970, Jim Henson wrote a song about rubber ducks for his muppet Ernie to sing on
Sesame Street. Rubber duck sales took off after Ernie pointed out what a great friend the duck could be. Soon everyone wanted a duck-- and all people who asked for one soon got one made just for them. In 2001, The Sun, a British tabloid, reported that Queen Elizabeth II has one with an inflatable
Courtesy of Daily Mail Online: Ben Clerkin. June 2007. www.dailymail.co.uk
In 1991, the first major rubber duck race happened in Apsen, Colorado. Then there were the ducks who raced around the world.
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Trees by Mindi Rahn School of History
love trees. I have always loved trees. Growing up in the small town of Concord, GA, I could always be found climbing my favorite Magnolia tree. Rather than attending to my chores or spending time with my family or friends, I preferred to sit in a tree and ponder the wonders of life. I was quite the melancholy child. One day, I decided not to climb my favorite tree. Instead, I stared in awe at the massive Magnolia tree that my sister usually climbed. I decided that it was time to conquer a new challenge. Without telling anyone about my impulsive plan, I attempted to shimmy up the Magnolia’s trunk in my leather cowgirl boots. It was all for naught, and I immediately slid back down to the ground. Frustrated, I realized that I was simply too small to shimmy up the tree. But I would not give up yet. An amazing idea
Photos courtesy of flickr.com. Above: “My Favorite Magnolia Tree” by rkramer62. Insert: “Magnolia Tree Bloom” by AgentSolutions.
entered my mind: a rope would help me climb this tree. Several minutes later, I was suspended upside down, hanging from the tree by my foot. Yet again, I could not successfully climb my sister’s tree. Minutes later, the elderly neighbor woman was by my side yelling for my mother’s assistance to get me
Benny laughed. “No, you won’t! It Janelle Sundin isn’t that kind of wedding. Plus, I had English Major
y sister sat me on the toilet and arranged the fuzzy green bath mat behind me. It contrasted sharply with the white dress I was wearing. “Okay, now. Let me arrange your hair-- perfect.” She tilted my chin toward the glaring light and told me to be still. She took a picture. Then she repositioned me and took another. I tried to be good and still, but I was bored. Finally, she was finished. Her timing was perfect. I could hear the boys pounding up the stairs. “Can we go now?” Richie asked, trying to make his voice deep and husky like his dad’s. Benny was looking at me. “Wow, Michelle. You’ve done a great job. She looks beautiful.” “You’re not supposed to be here! Now I have to do it all over again.”
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to come see her and give her this!” He pulled one hand from behind his back and handed me a beautiful daisy-chain tiara. In his other hand, he had a bunch of violets. I took the tiara and placed it on my head. “Here, let me fix it for you.” When he had finished, Johnny took my hand and walked me down the stairs. “They said I could give you away,” he said. He was excited; his brothers didn’t usually let him play. I hugged him. “I’m glad!” We snuck past the adults talking in the living room and giggled our way through the basement, across the yard, down the hill with the crab-apple orchard, and to the Creek. It sang to as we leapt over it. Benny grabbed my hand as we ran to the perfect spot. The beautiful place. We’d been eyeing it for weeks. Most places, the Creek was lined
disentangled from the tree. I love trees, even though this Magnolia tree conquered me as a small child. I still like to tackle new challenges, but I have since learned that it is invaluable to enlist the help of older, wiser, “bigger” individuals.
with trees on one side and a very steep, tall hill on the other, but here was a sunlit peninsula where the grass grew dark and lush and felt good on my bare feet. The creek flowed over a metal dam that made it just like a waterfall. Best of all, though, were the daffodils. The peninsula was covered in them. There, among the daffodils, bathed in sunlight, serenaded by the creekwaterfall, Benny and I promised to love each other always and sealed it with a kiss on the cheek. Richie officiated, since he was the oldest boy, and Johnny and Michelle were the best people. My sister caught my bouquet, and for our honeymoon, Benny and I ran across the dam holding hands. It was perfect, and I had never felt so beautiful or so cherished. I was six years old, and I had just married my cousin.
Pal’s Great Escape
by Dr. Greg Rumsey be out of sight and seemingly out of School of Communication hearing. On one of those outings,
rom the moment he joined our family as a Collie pup when I was 8 years old, Pal carved a place into my boyhood heart. He was mostly an outdoor pet, but occasionally mom would have a heart and let him in the back door. He would charge through the house, sliding down the wooden hallway floor and into my bedroom like Lou Brock stealing second base. Never mind if he brought in a spray of cold raindrops or snow crystals on his flowing gold and white coat. When my Pal arrived with tail wagging, all was well. We had seven acres of open land just outside of Wichita, and Pal thought he had gone to heaven when my brother Mark and I and the folks loaded him up in the Rambler station wagon and took him out for some real running. Not infrequently when it was time to leave, he managed to
Dad had to bring the family home— sans dog—and go back out and fetch him later. No doubt it was that quest for freedom that prompted Pal to get himself seriously lost one year at Christmas time. However, this escape happened nearly 900 miles away, in Michigan. We (dog included) were visiting my Grandpa Rumsey’s farm some 10 miles outside of Lansing, and we kept Pal in the barn at night. Unfortunately, one of the farm hands was unaware of the special guest when he opened the door early one morning after a heavy snowfall. In a flash, Pal was dashing through the snow. Dad, Mark, “Gramps” and I launched an all-out search through the fields. For hours we knocked at neighboring farm houses inquiring about possible sightings, but to no
avail. A couple of days later, we headed back to Kansas, dog-less and heartbroken. But before leaving, we placed an ad in the Lansing newspaper, just in case. Several days after arriving home, we got a call from Grandpa with the glad news that a Lansing resident had seen the ad, spotted tracks in the snow around his house and found our beloved Collie. Pal was then booked for the only train ride he ever took – a 900-mile voyage back home. I’m not sure who was more excited when we met him getting off the train—dog or master—but I have always been grateful that God cared enough about a grieving gradeschool boy in Kansas to employ His divine GPS system and track a missing Collie in Michigan.
Reading with Gramma by Becky Whetmore Writing Center
e always loved having Gramma come to visit when we were kids. She always had some new painting, like of a silly raccoon stuffed full of yummy watermelon, to share with us, and she would sit and read to us while we crowded around her, leaning in eagerly to stare at the pictures. She never seemed to mind having us cram in all around her, and she somehow managed to keep four ordinarily rowdy kids quiet and attentive while instilling in each of us a lasting love of the written word.
Photo courtesy of Becky Whetmore’s archives.
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Caitlin Foster English Major
don’t know that I had a terribly vivid imagination as a kid, but I was a highly suspicious and somewhat paranoid kid. I liked knowing exactly what to expect and having explanations for things I didn’t understand. That being said, I was shy of adults and didn’t particularly like to ask questions that I thought might be obvious, which left me with little else to do when I discovered a mystery during recess but speculate and think about maybe investigating. There were two major mysteries that existed on my grade school playground: The Mystery of the Red Colored Wood in the Mulch Pile on the upper playground and The Mystery of the Missing Fence on the lower. My team of fellow investigators included Coleman, Joey, and occasionally Kara. Joey fancied himself an intellectual, but one who liked NASCAR and prowrestling. He got all As, and the teachers were always fond of him, except for when he constantly interrupted their questions with the answers. Coleman had decided to become the class clown and my sidekick, which was great because I loved people who made me laugh and let me boss them
Philip Van Arsdale Biology Major
hen I am old and crotchety, my grandchildren will only hear stories like “Uncle Luke and the One Eyed Alligator” (a story of friendship and trust). But for now we will stick mainly to the truth. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and just like every other morning, I slept in. When you are 6 years old there are few pressing responsibilities. After sleeping until 8:30, my brother and I roused ourselves for the purpose of eating. Mom had prepared pancakes and saucettes just like every other Sunday brunch, and it looked to be a great day. After eating and taking care of the dishes, my sister, my brother, and I all settled in to do nothing useful. That was when mom called us outside to look at something in the lawn. As soon as we had our backs turned, she was in the house with the door locked. Smiling out through the window, she told us to have fun outside; she just couldn’t let us waste such a beautiful day. After much pouting and kicking of grass clumps, we settled down to amusing ourselves, doing our best to winding up as dirty as possible to punish mother for this cruel and unusual fate. That was how, in our time of greatest need, Sacaja-Dog-Wa came to us. My brother and I gathered in close as my sister told us the most skewed version of American history that ever was. She told the well-known story of Sacajawea and how she helped to rescue a wagon train headed west from the British infantry. How she joined forces with Davy Crockett and
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around. The teachers were less fond of him, especially when he had a tantrum because I didn’t win the class spelling bee. I was baffled by his loyalty, but he was fun to have around. Kara mostly just hung around to watch Coleman do something foolish and maybe get hurt. I decided early on that the mulch pile mystery was definitely the inferior one. Coleman’s conclusion of MURDER, because of the presence of reddish wood chips, just seemed too obvious. And frankly, his later addition of the escaped zoo gorilla seemed silly.
“This wood is too red for anything but MURDER,” Coleman said. “There is no wood that is red! Look around! All the trees are brown! THERE HAS TO BE A BODY SOMEWHERE,” and then he would furiously dig into the huge mountain of wood and dirt. Joey would scoff. “What about REDWOOD trees?” he asked. Coleman shook his head, still digging. “This wood is TOO red. Too red for anything but MURDER.” He gave up digging soon, and we bounced around on top of the pile until the teachers told us to get down before we hurt ourselves. The fence mystery captured my imagination for almost two years. It was perhaps Daniel Boone to save the wagons and their cargo and then taught the settlers to grow crops and live on their own in the American Southwest. Sadly, my brother and I were taken in by this crockery and were each eager to take part in an epic retelling of these famous events. Robby would play the part of Daniel Boone, and I finagled my way into the part of Davy Crockett. But alas, my sister had to be one of the innocent settlers, leaving the part of the incredible Sacajawea empty. Fortunately for us, our dog came snorfling along just then, and after a short chase we captured him and tied a blanket around his neck, rendering him an Indian. But he could not go by the effeminate name of Sacajawea; the blanket was already enough to break his spirit. So we went with the historical equal: Sacaja-Dog-Wa. With that final touch, we loaded up our wagons and headed
My brother and I gathered in close as my sister told us the most skewed version of American history that ever was. north to the fabled mountains and green fields of the backyard. Now when I say “wagons,” most people would think that I mean a little red wagon. But we actually had a yard cart, about five feet long and four feet wide. Somehow, my sister managed to fit into the wagon with all our possessions. I think that it was because she was a settler and Robby had to go scouting for the vicious Indians. Yes, my brother left me with man’s best friend, SacajaDog-Wa, and my sister, who had deteriorated to
more intriguing because of its lack of evidence of foul play, unlike the red wood chips in the mulch pile. One day a panel of the chain link fence surrounding the lower playground and separating it from the patch of woods at the back of the school was present, was there, and the next it simply wasn’t. The panel beside it appeared twisted, the pole half out of the ground and the wire poking out the sides. It was all very suspicious. “Maybe it was a wild boar. My dad read about a wild boar in North Georgia that got up to like, 100 pounds,” Joey informed us as we examined the gate. This time Coleman scoffed. “ONE HUNDRED pounds? Have you seen pigs? They are definitely not that big,” he informed Joey. Eventually interest in the gate died down, but I glanced at it every so often, with its strange gaping entrance into the woods, and wonder. Finally I decided that I would never know. A few weeks before summer after third grade, I saw the school janitor replacing the panel and concluded that it must have been a routine maintenance thing. OR WAS IT?
the state where the only word she could speak was, “Faster!” I began to regret ever taking on this glorious adventure. My sister had described nothing of the hardships these early pioneers had faced—pulling a cart several hundred yards up and down tiny hills or becoming parched from the lack of orange juice and milk from their refrigerators. I grew a greater admiration for those people. The things I had taken for granted—cold drinks, plentiful food, air conditioning, and a loving sister—were all proven to be whimsical items from a frivolous and weak world. When I complained, “But Katy, I’m tired, I don’t want to!” I accompanied it with a stomp of my foot signifying finality to my statement. Obviously this was lost on my sister, who only snapped, “What would Davy Crockett think if he knew his part was being played by a baby?” Well, after we spent several hours indulging our yearning to explore the unknown and our names were irrevocably carved into the annals of fictional history’s greatest child re-enactors, we got tired. Mom had decided that we must have enjoyed the day enough, since we hadn’t been whining at the door trying to get inside all day. So we were let in once more, and that could have been the end of it all, but Robby and I didn’t learn the real history of America for several more years, and we often fell back on Sacaja-Dog-Wa to fill our days with entertainment anytime we were left to our own devices. I will always look back and remember this with a smile until I am senile, at which point it will become a lopsided grin from one too many strokes. All in all, I think that it turned out to be a great day.
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ALLIGATOR DAFFODIL ESCAPE MAGNOLIA
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Chief Duncan McDuck has lost his friend. Can you help him find her?
COUSIN DUCK FRIEND SPRING
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by Becky Whetmore Writing Center
Photo courtesy of Becky Whetmore’s archives.
Jan Haluska 353 University Drive Collegedale, TN 37315
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hile other kids had fancy swimming pools with diving boards or waterslides, we made all the neighborhood kids jealous with our homemade sprinkler system. On hot summer afternoons, Mom would set up the hose to the spray nozzle while we kids threw on our swimsuits. Then we’d scamper outside and dash, giggling, through the cool jets of water. We’d play for hours, gamboling about as the water gushed and spurted over us, splashing each other while Mom looked on, smiling and enjoying our fun.