Mr. And Mrs. Pate!
Even though AIP was open year round, I wanted to have a summer to go work back home if possible. I had a really tough time finding work as it turned out. I called and stopped by places I had always been interested in working when I was a kid and found nothing for the first couple of weeks. I eventually found some work working at the Christmas store in the bottom of Grandpa’s Cheesebarn that is owned by the Goshinski family in Ashland near Fin Feather and Fur Outfitters (better known as the Ashland Mall). I worked with some very nice ladies but the Christmas thing really got to me.
I endured listening to Alvin and the Chipmonks’ Christmas album about 100 times a day and if it wasn’t that, it was a Disney music album (featuring It’s A Small World After All). Needless to say, I was happy to have an opportunity to draw caricatures here and there…
On my days off I visited some friends of mine that were working at Camp Mowana where I had worked the previous summer. (AIP let out too late for me to get a job there again like I had hoped- funnest job ever, BTW…) I also spent some time with a good friend of mine from high school, hanging out at the college she went to, driving out to Fowler’s woods late at night and having lots of fun but somehow managing to stay out of trouble… I booked some fairs and festivals and one of the first ones I worked at was the Perrysville Street fair.
I was set up in a pole barn off the main street in Perrysville. It was kind of a smallish fair but they had a parade and a car show so it was pretty fun. Set up about a block from where I was sitting was a pretty girl with a 1969 Ford Mustang convertible that WNCO, the local country radio station, was giving away for free to a lucky listener who signed up to win it during the summer. I wasn’t a country fan by any means, but during a slow time when I had gotten up to go look around I stopped by and signed up to win it and chatted for a minute with the DJ chick who was there with the car. Her name was Stacie Thompson. I told her she should let me draw her later, and so she did.
After a little while, as promised, Ms. Thompson came over to see what I was doing and to let me draw her there at my ‘booth’, which was a couple of the old school nylon and aluminum folding chairs, a milk crate, a jam box and some pens and paper. (I think I had tossed the easel by then) I was sitting there listening to the Depeche Mode and eating some funnel cake with my high school friend Amira, who had come with me. I offered some to Stacie and she took it.
She made it a point to tell us that she knew who Depeche Mode was and that she wasn’t in to country music at all, which I thought was interesting because you know, she was the DJ at the country station and stuff. She clued us in that she was the DJ on the weekends and that she would be on later that night and if we wanted to check her out, but she also DJ’ed at the local college station in Oberlin and that she liked punk and metal, so we talked about music for a while, then other festivals we had gone to, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Ashland, New London, Mansfield, College, this and that and the other thing… There were some awkward moments there in that first conversation to be sure, but somehow we established that A. we liked each other, and B. that I was not dating my very attractive friend and was in fact single so we exchanged numbers and made a date to talk some time later on the phone. I listened to her on the radio that night and thought that was pretty cool and that she had a very sweet voice.
The following weekend she asked me to go with her to take the NCO car to a car show at the local speedway in Mansfield. (she was going to take her dad but thankfully decided to take me instead) I met her at the station and we drove the car over together, hung out, I did a few caricatures and we talked for hours and had a blast. I kissed her there in the garage at the radio station before she went to work -and that was it! That was the first time I kissed my future wife and the future mother of my child!
I know I’m going to hear how I got it all wrong now as soon as she reads this, but that’s the gist of what I remember, lol! What a great summer!
Copyright Adam Pate 2013. All rights reserved.