|From our 1982 HS yearbook|
Their growing up experiences are so different from my own as I relate how I graduated high school with some kids I'd known since kindergarten. And whenever I say that, the first "kid" who comes to mind is Daniel.
Yes, Daniel and I met in kindergarten and never looked back. There was just a certain energy about him that instantly bonded with my own.
Our lives were actually pretty different. Daniel's family was large, loud, and Italian, with many many relatives in town. Us? It was just us and Grandma at the time.
Daniel had an adventurous streak about him and a vivid imagination - always up to something - and I was usually his partner in shenanigans. I'd say that our activities peaked in jr. high, where we were both sort of art "prodigies". I use the term loosely since jr. high art class wasn't exactly a mecca of talent. Suffice to say that our art teacher had trouble keeping Daniel and me challenged, and as a result, we sort of became her art TA's.
The art "wing" actually consisted of two full-sized classrooms. One for the class to meet in, and another for storing of supplies, works-in-progress, and such. Daniel and I were often assigned to do our prodigical activities in the second room. These were sometimes jobs like cleaning and organizing, and sometimes our teacher gave us special assignments to "expand our artistic horizons". Either way it was all fun, but mainly it meant that Daniel and I had
Now, before you start assuming where this is going, it's not going THERE. Daniel is as gay as the day is long. We just had a heckuva lot of fun together of the non-hormonal adolescent kind.
And we certainly remained friends all throughout high school, even though our paths diverged a bit. I became more focused on
|Art club in 10th grade|
Abby - front row, second left
Daniel - front row, far right
Daniel was a bit of a class clown, highly extroverted and entertaining, but I know words like "faggot" stung him. He was tough and rolled with it.
After high school, we lost touch a bit as he moved to L.A. to try to make it big in the acting world. He didn't, in case you've not noticed. I moved, went to college, got hitched, and the rest. We connected a few years ago on facebook and, more or less, caught up.
Then, Daniel's lovely mom passed away a few months before my mother passed away. We private messaged each other with our memories. He lives in Denver, but we'd never gotten together although we planned to. Someday.
So... today. Thanks to GeJo's Pizza.
GeJo's was a family pizza place from our little hometown. Mmmm, yummy and unique pizza. They closed sometime in my early teens. But there was word on facebook earlier this week that GeJo's had risen again! In Denver! We looked. We found. Yes, it was descended from the original GeJo's, using Nana's recipe. We wanted!
Daniel said, "Abby! We should go together!"
And I was all, "I'm on spring break this week! Let's go!"
I spotted him as soon as I walked in. He's bigger and a little more puffy around the eyes, and his hair is bleached and wild, but there was no mistaking him. He's the same Daniel that drew me in in Kindergarten. Later, we said we both felt that our moms had probably arranged our GeJo's reunion.
Oh, the pizza was good too.
For Mama Kat's prompt:
5. A story of love..