Monday, March 14, 2005

Gold Rush Daze Memories

I feel uniquely qualified to address this topic because I actually experienced two Gold Rush Daze. The first one was in the spring of 1997. It was raining that day, and as I woke up I could hear the sound of raindrops hitting the pavement outside of my room on the first floor of Johnson. Johnson 113 to be exact. My roommates always kept the window open. Then seconds later, I heard a voice that shook me out of my sleepy haze. It was a familiar voice, yet it seemed strangely out of place. Suddenly I realzied - it was Dr. Bob! He was next door. I instantly jumped out of bed, and told my roommates to wake up. It was like Christmas morning to me. I still remember that I was wearing these green and blue plaid pajamas that I had bought at the Greenville Mall. Then Dr. Bob bolted into our room, but he didn't shake my hand and warmly greet me like I had expected. He was in character - he was pretending to be a hall leader (a.k.a. R.A.). As Dr. B told us how dirty our room was, my roommates sat in their beds and smiled. In contrast, I was in the corner by the sink jumping up and down and clapping my hands the whole time. I don't think that Dr. Bob knew what to think, so he left and then Dr. Berg came in and gave up milk and doughnuts and I had my picture taken with him. It continued to rain all day and a lot of us just stayed in the dorms and had fun all day. The competitions were not a big deal. A lot of people went off campus. It was more like a "free day." After dinner, we went to the faculty body in the FMA. You all know what that is about, but I will just say that the best part of the whole thing was at the very end when a giant birthday cake was elevated through the hole in the floor where the podium usually sits. And the faculty were singing a song about the school's 70th anniversary. And at the end of their song Dr. Bob Jr. popped out of the top of the cake with a big polka dot Dr. Suess hat and necktie. Everyone loved it. A picture of this ended up in the vintage. You should go to the Social Parlor and look it up. It's worth it! OK OK Fast forward four years later. I am older and wiser and more handsome. I woke up extra early, and went to Jon's room with Joel Yelverton. For weeks there had been an unprecidented build-up of emotions for GRD. Since, Bible Conference was a week before GRD that year, there was even a laser and video presentation for GRD during the final evening of Bible Conference! It was really disturbing, but maybe I'm just old fashioned. Old-fashoined and handsome. Anyway, so after Dr. Wood gave us breakfast I got my picture taken with him and had him autograph my copy of Standing Without Apology. Also, I'll just throw this in here that I've recently been taking that picture with me when I get my hair cut because I really like the way it was cut in that picture. Isn't that funny? (I'm sure you're saying about now with a chuckle "that's so Buzz" or "Buzz is so crazy" or "Buzz is the coolest person I know, and I can't wait to introduce him to my beautiful sister.") So from the beginning I could feel that this GRD was going to be different. Instead of a "free day," it was a day that really unified the campus. We spent the morning ironing on letters onto the back of our blue thunder t-shirts. My shirt said "King Friday." We also rehearsed the Blue thunder song that I had written. Here is is; it is to be sung to the theme to Green Acres-kind of. "blue thunder is the team to be. I'm working on my Ph.D. We don't get a spring break, but we're LIVING FOR ETERNITY! That's why Blue thunder is for me." Jon reminded me to wear sunscreen. Then we had the games. Not only did everyone seem to be there this time, but there were so many blue and red t-shirts. I remember participating in a game on the field. I don't remember the specifics, but it had something to do with a matress I think. Oh well, the important thing was then when I got onto the field I couldn't believe the sea of blue and red as a looked out into the bleachers of alumni stadium. I also remember that the MC was some faculty guy who was really funny. The line I'll never forget is "Don't you just love a girl with Penache?!" [Maybe I didn't spell it right, pronounced peh-nash]. DInner - handfuls of chicken fingers and stitting on the grass. Then back to the dorms to change clothes. I wore a tan sweater with a hole in it. Joel spiked his hair. Then faculty body in the FMA. Then back to alumni stadium. A singspiration as we watched the sun set over the tallest buildings in downtown Greenville. Dr. Bob spoke and then came the fireworks. A picture of those fireworks made it into the vintage. And that's the picture I'll look at tonight right before I fall asleep. And dream. And know that 500 miles away the dew sits on the short soccer grass and waits to be absorbed by the foot of the one who sleeps in Johnson 113 tonight.

Young man, I have two words for you:

"paragraph breaks"

Please! so much easier on middle-aged eyes!

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