The view from my hidden nook with the videocamera.
The first time I remember Jen, we were representing our respective grade-schools in a spelling bee. We were in the same district and would later attend middle school and high school together, but at the time, this was just a competitor from way “over there.”
She introduced herself as “Jennifer Birkmeyer, from Pierce Elementary, the best school in the US.”
I immediately hated her.
All I know is, I didn’t win the spelling bee. I missed out on “prairie” after trying to conjure up the title credits of the show with Laura Ingalls.
Years later, Jen would unseat me as the “smart kid,” a role I gladly let slip away as rambunction and anarchy were more appealing.
We grew to be excellent friends over the course of our brief time as adolescents. I’d count her amoung my best.
She went to school an hour north of me in Columbus, so i would visit with her at intervals and swap stories of college horror.
We traveled to Greece in the fall of 2000, as Jen has been a worldly sort and the best way to nab quality time with her – is abroad.
She currently lives in Sicily with her now official husband, Shep, also a friend from high school who compliments her person in every way.
Aside from the terrible abdominal pains I was experiencing throughout the day and night, it was a fine ceremony with excellent folk all around.
A highlight was seeing Frau Hatfield, my German teacher who motivated me to study in Bad Camberg Germany during high school.