What one year of your life would you like to re-live, if you were given the chance?
Submitted by Ross.
The summer before I turned 12. In retrospect, I was probably having too much grown up fun for an eleven, soon to be twelve year old, but damn was that a good year. So much so, in fact, that my then best friend and I could often be heard singing about the "Summer of '85" to the tune of "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams.
I grew up in a podunk town full of rednecks. My brother and I were often called the blackest rednecks anyone knew. Loved us some Lynard Skynard (still do), Nazareth, Neil Young and the rest of the southern rock. So, as insulting as it could be, I know that my fellow rednecks weren't being racist or just plain assholes when they decided that my nickname should be Kizzie. Looking back, it makes me laugh because they tried to name my brother Chicken George but it never stuck.
Outside of that name, no one really looked at us as 'the black kids'. Everyone was just another member of the Van Meter Heights crew.
As you may or may not remember, request and dedications were huge then and so my be-fri at the time (Kidster) and I (Kizzie) had our own
pretend radio station. We had an R&D show every Friday night on KVMH. The Kid and Kiz show on 69.9 FM (yes, I know, it doesn't go that low nor do FM stations typically start with K). We laughed together, cried together, and just flat out had great times.
I'm pretty sure that that was also the year I first got drunk. Yes, I know, very early. All of my friends were a minimum of one year older than me and most were in the 4 to 5 year range. I was still the most mature of them all though. Living in a podunk town, you can get away with driving pretty young and without a license and I did a lot of that for people who were too drunk to get home.
Aside: Thanks, Ross, for this question because it made me research the history of my little podunk town and it's pretty interesting. Click here if you're interested. Also, click here for information about what I'm about to call "The Mine Roads".
Growing up, I never knew the history of our area. My grandfather, born in 1912, lived in the area his whole life I'm pretty sure and he never mentioned any of this stuff. What we did know is that the mine roads was a really cool place to ride dirtbikes/trikes/quads. Almost everyone had some sort of motorized off-road something or another and almost everyone had a trail from their house to the mine roads. There was the top part which didn't hold much interesting but the meeting point from the paths, and then there was the bottom part, down this hill, which led to where all the good riding spots (read HUGE HILLS were).
In the summer, we rode there and in the winter, we partied there. And that, is how I happened to get drunk for the very first time. We had a huge party wherein folks rode their dirtbikes and such to get there although, with a fair amount of walking, it was possible to get there on foot. Like rock stars we partied I tell you. Kegs, liquor, bonfire, snow, sleds. And I thought I'd have a beer.
Sidebar: Not my first beer. Podunk town=kegorator in the house. My dad had me pouring and delivering beers in the house since I was tall enough to reach the tap. Any wonder I ended up a bartender?
Well, many beers later, I was hammered. That was the point where I decided that it would be fun to sled down the biggest hill there, but with no sled. Odd that to this day, I distinctly remember Larry Baldwin saying, "Man, she's wasted" as I began my tumble down the hill. All ended well, no bruises, nothing broken, no frostbite, and no hangover.
1985. I was young, I was carefree and I wouldn't have traded that time in my life for anything. It seems like nothing bad happened that year. Life was perfect as it usually is when you're 11 going on 12. Yeah, I'll take that year back.