It was the summer of 1990 and I wanted nothing more than to listen to the latest Motley Crue album Dr. Feelgood but my mother had other ideas. She didn't like their music or their image, and now looking back as a 34 year old parent myself, I can hardly blame her.
This is where Jennifer comes in. She is pictured over here --->
We used to go to a campground on weekends to get away from the city, and at this campground there was a general store. They sold everything you could possibly need while camping, including gummi bears. As poor soon to be sixth graders, we would save our pennies and go and buy gummi bears. They were a penny a piece and the girls at the store would be nice enough to sell us however many we could afford. Sometimes this meant three or four bears at a time. They even let us pick out our favorite flavors.
These girls were in high school and worked here on the weekends and whatever they got paid probably wasn't enough to put up with us. Jennifer was one of those girls. She was probably the nicest of them all (not that any of them were ever mean to us). I imagine that while we were wholly annoying pre-teens we were certainly more interesting then sitting there at the general store and looking at the four walls. She would ask us what was up at school, if we had girlfriends and other chit chat type of questions. We also talked about music. More specifically about how our mom's wouldn't let us buy the new Motley Crue album. She thought that was stupid. We did too. So she took matters into her own hands. She told us that if we gave her blank cassette tapes she would make us a copy of the album.
It was then we all fell in love (or possibly even more in love) with Jenny.
Sure enough the next weekend we gave her the tapes and the weekend following that we had the album in our hands. She also made a copy of Guns N' Roses for me as well. We continued to talk after this, although she didn't ever make me any more tapes. She did however give me a copy of her senior picture. I thought this was so cool that this high school girl was being so nice to us.
So flash forward to 2012. I am cleaning out a box of random papers and things from my youth when I stumbled upon her senior photo. Jenny should be somewhere around 39 or 40 years old (forgive me for not remembering her birthday, although I do remember her telling us when it was). And as I look back at those days of my youth I can't help but wonder what ever happened to her. I am sure that she wouldn't remember us, but I know that I am thankful she took pity on some musically repressed kids from the city.
P.S. I now own both Motley Crue and Guns N' Roses on CD, and now I would not let me kids listen to
Chris Thomas is a full-time teacher, part-time freelance writing, father of three, and most importantly, a very, very tired man.
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