|Jack of Hearts|
I think it's time to tell our story.
You are instrumental in cementing in me
the romantic fool that I am.
That said, I'll be a romantic fool any day.
What you gave me was a gift.
You have no idea how often I wonder what you are up to. I say prayers that you and your family are happy, and safe.
Thank you again, and I hope you don't mind that I have decided it's time to share.
It started with a Wish. A simple wish. I wished for a secret admirer.
It was in the school newspaper...The Wolf Call.
I was on the yearbook staff and I knew the newspaper needed people to help add to the articles. I would get extra credit for helping out. Plus, I sort of did want a secret admirer. Who doesn't when they are 14 years old?
Boone Grove School, was established in 1913, and was very small. It held grades K-12. For real, kindergartners were in one wing and high school students were in the other. When I had free class periods I would go and help the band teacher, Mr. Hahn, as a band-aide. He'd give certificates with an actual bandaid on it to all his helpers. Of course, I still have several of mine! I'd also help out the elementary teachers...proof that the seeds of my second dream were planted in my youth. The best teachers, English (Mrs. Bivens and Mrs. Webb) and Math (Mr. Bajzatt), had classrooms in the original part of the school. The teachers lounge was a smoke filled labyrinth directly beneath them in the basement, complete with a ditto machine (a real thing...go look here). As Band, Home Ec., Science and Shop classes were some of the "newer" subjects, they were in the newest part of the school, near the gymnasium. The Boone Grove Wolves excelled in basketball and track. No football for the farm kids back in that day. Boone Grove was literally out in the middle of corn fields, which also meant it was hard for seniors who didn't have access to a car, to make it through the full day of school. My graduating class would be the first to graduate over 100 students, and we barely did that...we had 120.
In the fall of 1978, I was a freshman; total dork. Still very much trying to figure out who I was, my place in school, and where I might be headed in life. One senior guy fancied me that year. He was the life of the school, and of the community. I'm sure all parents adorned him, and mine were no exception. They even allowed me to date him, but I had to double date. Let me say...it, was, torture, (NOT!). The couple with whom we double dated was the most beautiful couple in the whole school. True. And they were not only beautiful, they were incredibly kind and humble. I think every girl in school, and possibly every girl in the county, was in lust with that beautiful guy. As a freshman girl, I was tolerated by the seniors because of whom I dated, but truthfully they didn't want a young thing hanging out with them. And because I was dating a senior, I didn't really fit in with the freshmen class either.
So when the newspaper asked if anyone had a wish...I knew I didn't have anything to lose. I just never expected my wish to be granted.
On Friday, December 18, 1978, I received my first letter from my secret admirer. Every letter of my name and address had been individually stamped on the plain white, letter-sized envelope. When I opened the envelope, a letter and a playing card were tucked inside.
Hand-written in all capitals was this message:
"LISA - I SAW YOUR "I WISH" IN THE WOLF CALL AND SINCE I HAVE LIKED YOU FOR QUITE SOME TIME WITH OUT YOU KNOWING IT - I HOPE TO BECOME YOUR SECRET LOVER - YOU WILL PERHAPS NEVER IN YOUR LIFE TIME KNOW WHO I AM, BUT I SHALL ALL WAYS KNOW WHO YOU ARE. I HAVE WATCHED YOU AND LISTENED TO YOUR SWEET LAUGHTER - I HAVE WATCHED YOU AT BAND CONCERTS AS YOU SIT ON STAGE AND MERRILY PLAY YOUR FLUTE - I HAVE WATCHED YOU MANY TIMES ALWAYS WANTING TO TAKE PART, bUT NEVER HAVING THE COURAGE TO DO SO, - SO CLOSE YET SO FAR AWAY. YOU DOn't Know WHO I AM, BUT I HOPE YOU LIKE ME FOR WHAT I SAY AND WHAT I WRITE
YOURS THROUGH ETERNITY"
It was signed with a design he created.
I held the Jack of Hearts playing card in my hand as I read it over and over.
Was this for real?
My friends, it was. The original playing card is pictured above. This fall I hope I can find the right words to share the rest of this story. Several of you may know this mystery person who touched my heart. I hope you will respect his privacy and that of his family. If you ask me, it is likely that I won't answer your questions. When the story warrants it, I'll share.
~Lisa Kroll, story teller, memory cherish-er, searcher - hoping to awaken my loving spirit once again so I can remember how to be loved
More history about the students of Boone Grove back in 1978: The senior guys of that year formed a non-school club which they called the BGRC. That stood for the Boone Grove Rifle Club. All the boys in this club came from farming families. To my knowledge, there were no rifles involved, but it is possible they were familiar with rifles. This group did get together and did cause trouble, but they were a group of fun-loving trouble makers. As an example: One time they commandeered all the flags and rakes from the golf course that I lived on...and then they showed up at my house! My parents laughed, and my mom even drove the "escape" vehicle for them. My parents were volunteer emergency responders in the community, so we had a police scanner in the house. We knew the police were looking for the BGRC. Mom made the boys deposit all the flags and rakes on one of the golf course greens, before letting all 13 of them pile into the back of our pick up truck. She drove them out of our gated neighborhood to safety.
My class of boys admired the BGRC, and after the original group graduated from school in 1979, they were bequeathed the name, and a new group was formed - the BGRC 2. I think the original group was more mischievous than their prodigy. And again...NO GUNS were ever part of the group activities, to my knowledge.