Its a well known fact around here that I LOVE to TRAVEL!!! Its contagious what happens to me when a plane ticket is researched then purchased. Or when we begin packing up the SUV for a road trip because I love the preparations in the approaching days before the departure! My mind begins flowing, thinking and scheming what to see, where to go, what activities we will be engaged in, what will be eaten and what will be ignored (yes even things being ignored gets a bit of my attention)… I am a tyrant of wanderlust.

This obsession of travel began way back at the end of 8th grade while passing through the summer months just before starting High School when I met this kid from Aurora named Jeff. His parents had recently become divorced and Jeff was forced to live with his mother near my parents place in south Littleton. The best thing at the time was that Jeff owned a small Chevy S10 pickup truck which he had lowered and a booming radio system in. We immediately began cruising to the mall or the local park, where the “cool kids” hung out. Jeff smoked and all the girls liked him. Unbeknownst to me, Jeff was also the kid who was already having sex. Oh yeah!! The stories that he would share whilst we drove around town.

One crazy Friday afternoon we were lounging around the mall checking out girls and the latest Michael Jordan basketball shoes when Jeff says to me, “hey Double A, I’m headed out East to see my pops, gotta pickup a couple of things for me’ma and bring ’em to our new digs. You wanna ride with me out to Aurora? We can grab some grub and meet up with some fellas I know.” Seriously, my mind began spinning, what do I say to this invite? My mom would kill me if she knew I was about to head out to Aurora. I went over to the payphone, slipped in my two-dimes and a nickel and punched my dad’s work number. It rang like seven-times before anyone picked up. Finally this strange voice said, “William Burke Architects & Associates how may I direct your call?” “Umm, yeah, I’m looking for my dad, Stephan C., may I speak with him please?” “Yes young man, please hold.” It took like 20-seconds before he came on the line, except with my anticipation and adrenaline kicking, it felt more like 5-minutes. “Hello, AJ what can I do for you?” Hey dad, can I go help Jeff out with picking something up at his pops place?” “Sounds like a fine plan. Just remember to tell your mom when you’ll be home for dinner” “Okay, thanks dad.” And I hung up the phone.

I told Jeff that I was in. He hopped off the ledge and we drove down to C-470’s west leg then up to I-25 and over to I-225 out to some eastern part of the city that I had never been to. The drive took well over fifty-minutes. We pulled up outside some worn out run down white house. Jeff yanked on the gear shift, set the e-brake and climbed out of the truck. I followed him into the garage, where we picked up a couch and a couple of end tables. Then back down the road we went. We never spoke to anyone. Didn’t even see anyone on the whole dam street. Ten minutes later I was being introduced as Double A, to all of Jeff’s old friends. We kicked it, yes we did. Jeff smoked and so did his friends, whilst I told animated stories at which everyone laughed. It was great!

A couple hours passed when Jeff’s pager went berserk which is when he looked at me and I knew it was time to go. Back in the truck he kicked it into first gear and we cruised by everyone waving us away as he turned the corner he raised the volume on the track and the tunes THUMPED through the neighbourhood as we made our way over to the highway and started our journey home.