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Full of Memories | by blthornburgh
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Full of Memories

This week’s theme for Smile on Saturday is “Full of Memories”

This stuffed chicken is full of memories for me.


It all started in the summer of 1982 when I was sitting at McDonald’s with a couple of friends, Keith and Billy. As we sat sipping our sodas, in walked Jack, a boy that worked at McDonald’s along with Keith. I had never met Jack before but Keith had mentioned him on several occasions and I pictured Jack to be Superman, someone that could leap tall buildings and save the world because of the way Keith had spoken about him.


Needless to say, the picture I had in my head about Jack was far different from the boy that stood before me. No, this boy was tall and thin with chestnut hair. He was wearing cut-off jeans and a dirty t-shirt, having been working outside all day before arriving at his evening job. I was thinking to myself, this is the Superman you keep speaking of, hmmm. We were briefly introduced and that was that. I wasn’t really expecting to see Jack again, after all, others always said he was an all-work and no play kind of guy.


The next day, Billy and I were sitting in his car in the public parking lot. We were contemplating what we should do next because the rest of the gang didn’t show up to hang out. It was decided we would go to the Bluegrass and get a coke. The Bluegrass was a drive-in restaurant in Ashland, Kentucky where they played country music and the servers wore roller skates. Before Billy could start his car, I noticed in the side view mirror that there was a familiar face in the car that was directly behind us. It was Jack. I threw open the passenger door and skipped up to Jack’s car. He rolled down the window and I asked him if he wanted to go with us. He shrugged and said sure, why not.


Jack and I ran into each other a few times after that before exchanging numbers. Then we started calling each other on occasion. This was very normal for me; I called all of my friends on occasion. Somehow, I found I was calling Jack a little more often than my other friends to see if he was going to town on a Friday night. He would rarely say yes, instead he would say I might be there for a while. Going to town meant hanging out with friends in the parking lot, or going to the Scratch and Tilt game room to play arcade games. I have to say, when I would call, regardless of his evasive answer, he would always show up.


Several months went by and Jack and I casually hung out sometimes with other friends and sometimes just the two of us. We had begun to call each other silly names like turkey. Then one day, he showed up at my house with this stuffed chicken in tow. He immediately handed it to me. There was a lot of laughter and silliness that went with this encounter. I was like… What’s this? He said Happy Valentine’s day (1983). Much more laughter followed and I said, you got me a chicken? His reply was “I couldn’t find a turkey”.


There is a lot more to this story but I don’t want to bore anyone to death. I will just say Jack became my Superman; he is my hero and my world. We will be celebrating our 37th anniversary in three days.


I hope you smile a lot today and every day, happy snapping.


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Taken on May 15, 2021