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The First Time I Fell in Love and the Facts of Life

If ever you are bored, come visit me at school over lunch hour with my students.  Today I overheard a girl tell the boy across the table to stop flirting with her.  Minutes before another student let me know something "terribly gross" they had found under "S" in the encyclopedia...They thought that encyclopedia in particular should be taken out.  I asked this student if that was the first they had heard of it and I guess it was.  Ho Boy.

Anyway, all this kinda talk triggered a memory from my long ago...It was during summer vacation Bible School.  I suppose I was about ten.  A boy named Joey Tice was in my class and sat across from me each day.  He was the most fascinating and intriguing person I had ever met.  He had the darkest roundest eyes and the most beautiful black skin.  I loved the way his palms were pink compared to the tops of his hands.  When he opened his mouth to laugh, his teeth gleamed white and his tongue flashed pinkie red.  He laughed a lot and I guess I stared at him a lot because mid- morning class one day, he leaned across the table and made tremendous eye contact with me saying in a rather sultry way, "Are you in love with me?" 

 I guess I kinda was.  I remember giggling and then hiding my fat face in my arms and avoiding him the rest of the day.  But I fell out of love just as quickly when at the final program he embarrassed me by pulling a wadded up paper from his mouth when it was his turn to recite a verse.  He slowly and carefully opened the wadded up paper and read his piece proudly and loudly, then beamed at the congregations of good Mennonite believers and community people.

 I wanted to crawl under a bench.  How dare he do something so completely against the teacher's wish for us all to memorize our parts!  I don't know what happened to Joey Tice but I love the Joey Tice's in my world.  They shake me loose from my comfy little grooves and beliefs.  They help me think outside the box of conventional thinking and behaviour.  And they help me laugh at properness and piety while replacing both those things with acceptance and genuiness.  Go love someone 'different' today...


  1. Joey Tice is still around...

  2. Really Connie? I think I had heard he was in a serious accident years ago...I was wondering how that all turned out. Thanks...

  3. I see him around town occasionally. Yes,he had been in an accident and had a head injury (if I remember correctly.) Walks with a limp but is able to get around quite well. Not sure if he's able to work or not.


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