#tbt: Tales of a second-grade Laura

Y’all. Seven-year-old me was pretty great to have in a crisis.

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#tbt: Tales of a second-grade Laura

Just when you thought the well might be running dry… I found my second grade journals. I had the same teacher in second and third grade so we had the same kind of daily writing prompt thing both years and I’m real glad I kept them all because there are some real gems in there, so this feature on the ol’ blog can go on for quite a while longer.

The story below omits several key details that don’t make me look like the bad guy I actually was in this story. (Meaning the part where we wouldn’t help her into the truck so she stood on the bike in gravel and it slipped out from under her and she had to get stitches).

*BONUS – I wrote about it again in third grade. Still only half the story. Still not taking responsibility for her hospital trip.. still obviously working through some shit.

#tbt: Tales of a third-grade Laura

Ohhhhhh you guys. Have I got a treat for you.

My parents are attempting to clean out some of the million boxes of things in their basement, which includes giving us kids some of our old stuff they’ve kept. A couple weeks ago, I collected one box from ’em – with such gems in it as Rachel’s lava lamp (whoops), my A Knight’s Tale poster (R.I.P. Heath Ledger) aaaaaand, a notebook of mine from third grade.

You see, my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Kleinhans (who also taught me in second-grade and is probably my all-time fave), had us keep a daily journal in her class. She would write a short prompt on the board and we had to write something based off that prompt. (Fun fact: Sometimes she drew pictures and we’d have to write what we thought they were.)

There are some GLORIOUS entries in there, which brings us to this new feature here on the blog for TBT. We’re going to take a walk down memory lane and revisit the beginnings of my career as a writer. You can see the talent even then.

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You would be playing. WE GET IT, DAMN.

Also: Look at that phenomenal penmanship. Thanks, Mrs. Kleinhans!

You can take the girl out of Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky outta the girl

Never have I ever lived outside of the state of Kentucky. I’ve lived like, four different places within the state, but my address has never had a zip code that didn’t start with a 4.

I’m not complaining. At all. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love this state – my city, especially. We have so many amazing things here to be proud of, so many of the people I love are here…

We get a reputation for being pretty back-woods up here though. And there are those parts of the state. And, whether you want to admit it or not, if you live here and have for all your life (or even a good portion of it), there’s a little bit of redneck in there somewhere.

My redneckiness (yeah that’s a word…I just made up) was significantly higher when I was a kid. Weekends were spent out at my grandparents’ farm, walking on barrels and stilts and swimming or fishing in the pond. And I was a huuuuuge country music fan.

And I’m talkin’ that early 90s country. Like Achy Breaky and whatnot. Oh man.

A particular favorite – my absolute favorite – for a good amount of time, was “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’ Anymore.”

Here’s the video – I’ll let you take that all in.

That was my favorite song. IN THE THIRD GRADE.

There is so much wrong with that. But I listened to it on tape in my little Walkman on a mix with some Billy Ray and Dolly and John Michael Montgomery and Garth Brooks….

Well. One day in my third grade class we got an assignment. Bring in our favorite song/music to share with the class.

Obviously, I was going to bring my song about whiskey and women and duh why wouldn’t I? Don’t all 9-year-olds love this song?

Um, because my parents didn’t want to have to meet with the teacher/principal/CPS.

Why does this story matter?

Well. You see the man in that video up there? With the mustache? That’s Travis Tritt.

The same Travis Tritt that I found myself behind in line to get our free fedoras (YAY, swag!) at the Barnstable Brown party I told y’all about.

YES. It happened.
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I took a picture of him and his lady while we waited, for work, of course, but then I had a thought.

When was I ever gonna see Travis again? When was I ever gonna be close enough to tell him THE story. The story that my parents love to tell people and one of my favorite anecdotes about myself.

So, maybe it was those three pomegranate-y drinks I’d had or the high from meeting John and Emilio. But I tap him on the shoulder and say hey.

“I told myself if I ever met you, I had to tell you this story,” I said.

He smiled and said “OK, shoot.”

So I tell him – third grade me, his song about drinking whiskey – my favorite, the pain of not being able to take it in and share it with my class.

And he, I kid you not, threw his head back and laughed. And told me that was awesome.

And then we were best friends. And I was like, “WHAT IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?” And then I went home and downloaded that song from iTunes.