Waaaaaaay back in the echelons of history there was a young man with an exuberance for photography. This exuberance drove him to attend a private art college and eventually after twenty-four months of an aggressive and usually a gruesome list of assignments he passed with a degree. Whilst he was in his final semester of classes on the verge of graduation he applied for a University program down-under in the land of Kangaroos and left-hand drive automobiles.
Upon his graduation day, he excitedly informed his best friend of the time, “B it came true! Next year I will be on a plane heading for Queensland Australia!” On the exterior she smiled, whilst inwardly she cried as she would be losing her bff for an unknown period of time.
These two were as thick as thieves over the last thirty-ish months tearing it up and down the Western coast of North America. She drank with him in his time of triumph and dabbed at his tears when things weren’t going his way. He reciprocated each feeling when it was her turn in this odd-couple fashion.
On the day he was about to depart for the unknown world of travel which lay ahead she handed him a small 6-by-6 inch package. “Please don’t open this until you are on the plane, somewhere over Hawaii. When you know the plane will not be turning around and coming back. I hope this assists you in finding your journey out there. Whatever that may be? And hey… I’m here for you, always.” She grabbed him by the neck pulling him down towards her five-foot-six frame. He yielded his nearly six-foot-three body towards her and like any other lovely occasion he scooped her up off her feet squeezing her until she cried out with a joyous and terrified laughter. They laughed as he set her down. Then she slugged him one in the upper right arm, spun on her heels and walked away towards her awaiting red YJ Wrangler Jeep.
He turned the opposite way… thought about it for a minute dropped everything he was carrying and ran over to her Jeep. “Hey, B… you will come down-under and we’ll show those Aussies what we Americans are really like. Right?” She smiled. Turned on the ignition and just when he thought they had shared all of their feelings, a droplet of a tear escaped beneath her sunglasses falling across her cheek as she slammed the stick shift into first and released the clutch. Leaving him standing on the sidewalk starring at the taillights in disbelief.
Shaking off the small particles of dirt he smiled inwardly, laughed a little out loud and went to retrieve his things.
Its time… he thought
Then his right hand pushed inward onto the glass doors leading him and his two bags into the foyer of Las Vegas International Airport. Ticket in hand he lined up with the others whom would be plane hopping to Los Angeles (LAX) and then some of them would step onto a ginormous B747 United Airlines flight UA7007 bound for Nada, Fiji (NAN) with a half day layover for fuel and a stretch then onward to the Eastern Seaboard of Australia!
Somewhere along the twenty-two hours of travel between North American and the world down-under, the young man pulled the present tightly wrapped in an ugly green wrapping paper with a little red bow. He wondered if he should just leave it alone until he reached his destination. But curiosity got the best of him.
Quietly he worked away on the paper, not to disturb his seat-mates until he revealed a leather bound 6-by-6 inch square journal. A note shoved between the pages somewhere in the middle of it. “This is to help you keep all those awesome memories your about to make. I’m SUPER PROUD OF YOU! And I will miss you greatly! Also, I’ve started the beginning of this journal with a couple of collage pics for you and some quotes that I thought were pretty appropriate for this next step in your journey. Love B”
A few days ago, I found the above torn and tattered 6-inch leather bound journal in a rubber bin labeled: “treasure box” which I’ve been holding onto in a variety of storage locations over the past twenty-something years. This past Sunday I flipped through it looking at the memories born to its pages, the mislead youth of a young man’s travels and decided to share with you the world-at-large some of the contents within.
My only hope is you enjoy reading the triumphs and tribulations as I rediscover my youth, through reading the hand written stories and events contained within this journal about a well spent youth.