Category Archives: Trip down memory lane

I know how Bob Costas is feeling today…

He’s exhausted. And relieved. And probably at least a bit sad.

I know this (or I have a pretty good idea, at least) because in 1996 I worked at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

How I (and many other college students) got the opportunity is a bit of a long story. The short version is my college was part of the Host Broadcast Training Program, which trained hundreds of college students to work at the Games. There is a similar program in Beijing (which my college professor is heading up, if I recall correctly). You can learn more about the program here. (A college friend of mine is photographed here under “audio assistant.”) [Hyperlinks removed 7/22/12 to remove dead links.]

I was hired as an archivist/librarian, and on July 1, 1996, as a rising college senior, I reported to the International Broadcast Center in downtown Atlanta for my first day of work.

For the next 35 days, I worked for Atlanta Olympic Broadcasting, which was responsible for providing feeds of every Olympic event to rights-holding broadcasters. (In the United States, the rights-holding broadcaster was NBC. CBC was the rights-holding broadcaster in Canada.) I know NBC and other rights-holding broadcasters bring their own cameras/personnel, etc., but a lot of what you see on NBC (in 1996 and in Beijing) comes from the official broadcasting outfit (aptly called Beijing Olympic Broadcasting in 2008).

One of the first things I did was put the finishing touches on a manual. (I’ve been an editing nerd forever. The book was “done” when we started work, but after I saw a few typos, my boss said I could clean it up a bit.)

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We had to label I-don’t-know-how-many-but-I-may-be-repressing-the-number of videotapes before the Games started. (A small portion is pictured below.) Unfortunately, I also had to remove those labels and apply new labels after the Games started, if an event went too long, etc. I still can’t stand the sound of fingernails on the plastic of videotape boxes. ::: shudder :::

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It was a pretty cool thing. Perhaps the best part was getting to watch the Olympics without any commentary. Of course, this was also the worst part. I didn’t realize I was watching the women’s team gymnastics final until they were handing out gold medals to Kerri Strug and Company. At that point, I vowed to pay more attention to the events, even in the midst of my 12-hour shifts. 🙂

I remember watching the men’s marathon. We cheered as each person crossed the finish line. Earlier in the Games I was brought to tears while watching the medal ceremony for the men’s discus. I never knew the German national anthem was so beautiful.

The last day of the Games, our boss said the day-shifters could stay and watch the Closing Ceremony before heading for home. So I was there until about midnight, after getting to work at 7 a.m. It was grand to visit with the people I’d worked with for the previous 35 days. I’ve lost touch with everyone, pretty much. But it was an AMAZING time. I wouldn’t have missed those 5 weeks for anything.

I believe this photo of me and the rest of the archive/logger staff in 1996 was taken the last day of the Olympics. We were BUSHED. But happy. The exhaustion, the stress, the “everything” was all worth it.

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There are about 50 students from my alma mater who worked in Beijing at these Olympics. If their experiences were even a fraction as good as mine, they had a mighty fine Olympics indeed.

Flashback Friday: Summer of 2005

In the summer of 2005, shortly after we started dating, Ed surprised me with the one miniature rose that bloomed in his yard. (I didn’t even know he HAD rose bushes.) When I came home yesterday, I photographed these. The roses are actually about the size of a quarter. (The pink rose is a little smaller.)

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There hadn’t been any roses since 2005, the last year Ed was single. And this year there were two… symbolic, somehow.

“I Do” — Wedding Stories

About three weeks ago, on our second anniversary, I told you How I Met My Honey. So many people participated, and I had a lot of fun. I hope you did, too. 🙂 (And it’s not too late to link in. Have I mentioned I love these stories?)

Today, we’re sharing wedding stories. You don’t have to tell a story about YOUR wedding. You can tell the story about any wedding you’ve been to, been in — or worn a butt bow in. 🙂

After you’ve written your stories, don’t forget to sign the Mister Linky and link to your actual post, not to the main page of your blog. (If you’re not sure how to do that, click here.)

Enough of the details. Now to the stories.

In the words of Sophia Petrillo, picture it, northern Georgia, April 2006.

My friend Leslie, my matron of honor, spent the night before the wedding with me, at my parent’s house. Her husband stayed at the hotel with their three kids. My husband-to-be stayed at the same hotel with his sister, brother-in-law, mother, and our dogs.

The morning of the wedding, I snuck out of bed about 7:30 a.m. and left Leslie to catch a bit more sleep. I visited with my family for awhile, ate a little breakfast, took a shower and shaved my legs, etc. At the hotel, Ed ate breakfast with his mother and Bryan and the kids and then they walked the dogs. Ed enjoyed the morning, and I was glad he got to spend some time with them. 🙂

Meanwhile, my friends Mike and Christie had arrived at my parent’s house. Christie had graciously volunteered to do my hair. When they arrived, I asked Mike and Christie if they could give us a ride the short distance from the church to the reception. Mike ended up WASHING HIS CAR in my parent’s driveway. I’m sure it wasn’t dirty, but it was so sweet of him to wash it.

Christie worked on my hair, my sister and Leslie worked on getting ready, Mike came in and out. My dad came in and out to see how we were doing and kept reminding us of stuff we needed to do and our time line for doing it. 🙂

We finally got to the church — and more or less on time — around noon. The wedding was scheduled for 2 p.m.

Now the real fun began.

I put on my dress.

Put on my lipstick.

Had Christie help me with my veil. (From here on, you can click on the image and go to my Flickr page.)

Had some photos taken (Ed, too).

Waited.

Finally, it was time for the wedding. Or, it was past time, actually. (See the clock?)

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By the way, the little person at the bottom of the photo is Sarah, Leslie’s daughter. It was past her nap time. She wanted no part of sitting with Daddy after she walked down the aisle with Leslie and her brothers, so Leslie held her. It was all good. 🙂

My dad, a pastor, walked me down the aisle.

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Then he performed the wedding ceremony.

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Scriptures were read.

A hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” was sung.

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Vows were said.

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Rings were finally exchanged after Dad dropped them. Twice.

I sang “How Beautiful,” by Twila Paris.

My friend Bryan said an awesome prayer for us. Many of our friends came and lay hands on us. Ben, Bryan and Leslie’s second oldest, rubbed my arm through out the prayer (so sweet!).

Dad pronounced us man and wife.

We kissed. (Swoon…)

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A million pictures were taken.

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We went to the reception.

Cut the cake.

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Drank a toast of sparkling grape juice. Visited with friends and family.

Left to a shower of rose petals.

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Walked our dogs to the park. (You may remember we met because of the dogs.)

We swung.

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We went down the slide.

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We walked through town.

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We sat in the gazebo.

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We continued walking to the bed and breakfast where we were going to spend the first two nights of our marriage.

Happily ever after...

Our photographer took this final photo.

At the Tumlin House

And we lived happily ever after. Or at least most of the time. 🙂

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Phew! That was quite a story. And that was the short version. Please, if you have time, click on the links, especially those that link to photos. And if you want to see LOTS MORE wedding photos, click here. They’re not in order, for some reason, but you’ll get the idea. And I love them all. And I wish I could have shared them all. Sigh… All photos are courtesy PKE Photo Group.

Now I want to hear your story. Bring it on! 🙂

Flashback Friday: May 11, 1997

I graduated from college on May 11, 1997, 11 years ago this Sunday. It was Mother’s Day that day, just as it’s Mother’s Day on this May 11.

I was so very happy.

I’d graduated with honors. My parents, sister, and grandmother were there. I’d DONE it.

I was so very sad.

I was leaving some of the best friends I’d ever made. I was leaving a place that had been home for most of the previous four years. I was sadder still because I knew in my heart that the town WOULD still be home for years, even though I wouldn’t be there. (And it was, still is in some ways.)

I remember seeing a friend with whom I’d interned the previous year waiting to take a photo of his daughter, a classmate, before Baccalaureate, and seeing him again when I was walking into Commencement. My friend Mike, my best friend from childhood, and his wife, who were celebrating their first anniversary, waved at me from near the back of the auditorium. My family, with my dad on the aisle, all looked so proud.

I remember little about the ceremony, except for the fact that my name was listed in the program as being a December graduate… and knowing that I’d completed all the requirements to graduate… and wondering if my diploma would be in the diploma cover or not. It was. (Little did I know that handing the diploma to my dad as I walked out after the ceremony saved my mother 15 extra minutes of worry. When SHE saw that I was listed as a December graduate, she burst into tears, not knowing if I knew, and worrying about ME.)

After graduation, I didn’t get to say goodbye to Bryan and Leslie, who left right after the ceremony. (I’m still sad about that, 11 years later, and they remain some of my best friends ever.)

We had a small reception in my parents’ hotel room. Only one family was able to come. I knew it wasn’t personal — it was graduation day and Mother’s Day and Mike and Maria’s anniversary, after all — but I was so sad. I remember curling up in my mom’s lap and crying and crying and crying.

After awhile, I went back to my room — on a VERY empty hall — and finished packing. The resident assistant came by to check on me. I was in bed by that time, so she tucked me in. 🙂 I cried again.

The next morning, I took one last “lap” around campus, took a few more pictures, and with mom next to me in the car, drove away from campus, something I’d sworn for weeks I wouldn’t be able to do. I was proud of myself.

Read other Friday Flashbacks here. And post your own. It’s fun!

Bryan and Leslie (taken after Baccalaureate). They’d been married almost a year at this point.

My favorite professor, Dr. Michael Longinow, and me.

(I have SCADS of photos of my family from that day, but eleven years and several moves have scattered my photos hither and yon. I was lucky to find these.)

Swoon…

I wrote my How I Met My Honey post yesterday, and now I’m feeling all swooney and lovey and sentimental. While writing, I looked through some photos from when we were dating. Such a fun sentimental journey. Here are a couple of those shots.

From left to right: us; my crazy hair after going down a spiral slide; our family (minus our cats) — Ed was playing Santa Paws and did something to make the photo a cartoon. I can’t wait for tomorrow! 🙂

“My” baseball team started its season. I didn’t notice.

So the Atlanta Braves started their season on Sunday night. They lost. I didn’t notice — the start of the season OR the loss.

My how times have changed. I used to count down the days until Opening Day. Four of my favorite words were “pitchers and catchers report” (as in report to spring training).

Don’t believe me?

This is an editorial I wrote for my high school newspaper, Paw Prints, in 1992.

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In college, my friends Bryan and Leslie bought me a book, a children’s book, called If I Were an Atlanta Brave. I loved that book. I still have it.

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Yes. I loved my Braves (any baseball, actually). A lot. Probably more than was healthy. O.k., definitely more than was healthy. Once a friend was in a lounge on my hall crying because she was feared she had an eating disorder. I walked into that same lounge a few minutes later crying — perhaps even harder than my friend — because the Braves had just lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1993 National League Championship Series. (I was self-aware enough to know how ridiculous I was being, but still…)

After college, I worked for 3 1/2 years at a sports news network, which made sports work, not fun. I still watched the Braves but not as fervently as I used to.

After switching to a non-sports job and “detox”ing for a year or so, I liked nothing more than spending the afternoon or evening listening to a game on the radio. In the five or so years since then, I met my husband. I bought a townhouse. I started dating my husband (six weeks after I bought the townhouse, but that will be part of another post). I got married. I sold my townhouse, and moved to my husband’s house.

My life is good. I’m happy I have such a full life.

I most likely won’t be turning on the radio much this year to tune in to a game. (I don’t even know which radio station they’re on anymore.) And if I DID tune in, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea whether the announcer was talking about a member of the Braves or of the other team.

And part of me is very sad about that.

A birthday trip down Memory Lane…

I was born at 8:20ish on March 17, 1975. That means my husband was almost 21 on that momentous day.

And it means that today I’m 33.

I feel like taking a trip down Memory Lane. Some stops will be birthday related, some not.

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This picture was taken in the fall of 1981. I was in first grade. My teacher was Miss Brock. She seemed ANCIENT. She wasn’t, apparently, as she didn’t retire until 1997, the year I graduated from college. (I went to college in the same town I went to elementary school in, and I interviewed her for a school project in college. She still scared me, just like she did back in 1981-1982 when she called me a buttinski. But I digress.)

The first birthday I remember is my 10th. Double-digits, man. I thought that was so cool. I remember having a birthday party. The only gift I remember is a book from some “older” friends of mine. They were in their early 20s and students of my father. I don’t remember the name of the book. I’m not sure I actually finished it. A move or two ago, I got rid of the book… but I kept the inscription page, which was lovely and full of compliments, perfect for my pre-adolescent self-esteem (or lack thereof). Actually, I just remembered my 7th birthday. I got a pink-striped hula hoop from my boyfriend.

On my 12th birthday, I threw such a temper-tantrum about something party-related that I didn’t GET a 13th birthday party. That “learned” me!

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This is my high school senior picture. That was one of my best hair days ever. (My wedding day is probably the only day that beats it.) I had big hair — I graduated in 1993, when we were still recovering from the 80s — but it looked good. I remember the day I had this picture taken. I went to the hair dresser to get my hair fixed (which is why it looked so good). I felt so beautiful that day. My parents still have this picture on their mantle. I graduated from high school 15 years ago. (I guess they like it. I think a wedding picture — maybe this one? — has been added, but I’m not positive.)

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This picture was taken at my 21st birthday party, thrown by some friends. You’ll want to click on the thumbnail, so you can see my REALLY short hair. (This was not one of my best hair periods. In fact, several times, I’ve been asked, “What possessed you to do that?” I still ask myself the same question. Ahhh… the mistakes of youth…) I don’t remember the particulars of that birthday party, but I remember being really, really happy. I still have the book Bryan and Leslie gave me (they got married later that year), as well as the card everyone signed. This party, a few days after my birthday, was preceded by my roommate Rachel’s making me breakfast in bed on my official birthday. It was awesome. Not a drop of alcohol crossed my lips either of those days, or any day until I was 27. The day alcohol did first cross my lips, I had two sips of champagne during my friend Christi’s wedding and was done. I am not a big drinker, as you might now realize, but I can drink a LITTLE more than that now.

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For this picture, I was in Kentucky for homecoming in 2002. Toby and I attended the baseball alumni game, as well as a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the start of the media communications department at my college. (Toby attended only the outdoor events.) I was very happy that weekend, and also very blonde. (See, I told this wouldn’t all be birthday related.)

Two-and-a-half years after that picture was taken, I learned what happy REALLY felt like when I started dating Ed. (Insert “awwww…” here.)

I can’t remember my first birthday we were together. (I’m probably repressing that time, as it was six weeks before the wedding.) Last year, Ed made me grilled fish. I was exhausted, and he served it to me in bed. 🙂 As for this year? Grilled fish, Greek salad, and brownies and ice cream. I can’t wait!

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I took this picture of myself this morning. I’m even wearing green for my St. Patrick’s Day birthday, something I rarely do. Remind me to tell you the story someday. 

Thanks for taking the trip down Memory Lane with me, whether you made it this far or are still stuck a few paragraphs ago, stunned by the disaster that was my boy hair. 🙂 Don’t worry. It took the people in that picture awhile to get over it, too.