I have quite a few sexy Jeffs in my life, but this past Sunday I ran into my old heart throb! It was so cool. He's selling real estate, he's married and has 4 kids - we talked and hugged. It was awesome. I had to think two times before attacking him and making him hug me, because I wasn't altogether sure he would remember me. I mean, I was the one who had the massive crush on him right? So, why would he have any obligation to send his mind back to 1979 and think of me? Well...I guess because I was the crazy girl that sat outside and watched my other dreamkings playing football in the rain, the sleet, the sun, the burning sun, the scorching sun, and the Oh-my-God-can-you-kill-me-now sun! I watched the boys play every single day after school before school started, during the two-adays, and then after school, and on weekends too. I was the ONLY fan in the bleachers 99.5% of the time, but I had my journal full of dreamy characters - Jeff Straka was certainly one of the boys I had my eye on. (But I don't think he played ball.)
Jeff had white white blond hair, the husky blue eyes, that quintessential smile that a gorgeous boy who knows he's gorgeous always has, and he had a really nice personality too. Yes, he drove the hottest car on campus, but that didn't make him stuck up or anything; his body did that! He was adorable. We used to sit at the table with about a dozen other boys that either played ball, or maybe they wrestled - Eddie Z., Crazy Eddie was there, he ran track - Joe Shepherd, Court Diffee, Rick Thompson, Phil Wheeler, Phil Evans, Paul Sims, Kurt Huff, Sam B., can't forget Sam - and Jim Bell - I love Jim Bell. Come to think of it, not many girls sat with us. Oh well - more for me. I had a big fat silly grin on my face most of the time didn't I? I can tell you, it wasn't the pickle and mustard burgers I was cramming down my mouth that made me laugh - Jeff was, if nothing else, one of the best comedians at the school - but wait - Phil Evans may have taken first place now and then too.
I don't know where everyone else turned up: Rick became a preacher, Diffee shares a mega car lot with his equally good looking and good natured younger brother Laine, Sam became a surgeon - that was interesting news, and looks like Jeff became a sales agent. Jim's probably an engineer - he had that sort of made-for-numbers head come to think of it. Where do they all run off to, the boys of high school? Girls run too I suppose - but I never chased a single girl at the school that I can think of - hung out with Carol - anyone seen Ms. Moore lately? I'd love to hug her neck! Where do they go when they fly? College has such a way of scattering our hearts and making us grow up doesn't it? It often takes a reunion of many years down the road to find the time to get us all back together, and then you have to often sort through the lies, the divorces, the kids, the jobs, the promises to keep up, the drinking surprises - the people you thought you knew, and the big big big surprises of the ones you finally got to meet for the first time.
If you sat me down and you asked me what I was, who I was in high school I am sure my answer would differ from what the people I went to school with would say. After all, seeing a thinker and a brainiac sitting in the bleachers every day watching the boys, writing in a journal may make some people think me off a bit - I was probably the only girl who really smelt, saw, heard, and understood the team entirely. Emphasis on smelt. I would say I was the brainiac that liked boys, did gymnastics in the hall, ignored the A-listed girls, sat with their boyfriends and actually listened to their dreams, and I was the one that didn't give a rat's backside who cared about what I thought, or who thought about what I said - If I were a car I would have been a Volvo: Safe, dependable, just a bit out of reach, and hard to come by in 1979. If I were a bird: A hawk, a color: brown - no one really gets the color brown, but it's everywhere, sometimes the very base and soul of everything surrounding us. That was me in High School. I was not always liked, not always sought, but I was everywhere and into everything.
Seeing Jeff Straka's big grin Sunday just put me back at that school again - walking, or OK flipping down the halls - and stealing pickles from everyone at the table to stack on my burgers before shoving half the sandwich in my big mouth before they could grab them back. I miss growing pains - but somethings remain the same - thanks Jeff for your hand, your hug, that smile!