Articles from February 2013

Charlie Peacock Concert; Random Stories–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–September 1993, Part 5

Charlie Peacock Concert

On September 19, Pearl and I went to the S– Evangelical Free Church.  Tara P., a member of the women’s volleyball team, was our driver.  She was a member of the church, and very tall and friendly, with dark hair.

I loved the church, which was big, had beliefs much like my own, and was very lively.  Everyone seemed cheerful and friendly and excited about God.

When filling out my gold registration card one Sunday, I asked for information about the church; this I received in the mail in October, and after reading it through, I decided it was much like my own church in both structure and theology.

I felt I had found my church home for S–, now that there was no longer a Nazarene church.

Sunday School was at 9:30am, and church at 10:45.  There were two services, one at 8:15, but the 10:45 one was packed.

As for Sunday School, this was a college class and had three other students.  Everyone there was friendly.  One was a blond named John, and the others were two young women.

One kept talking to John in such a way that you could tell she liked him.  John was cute, so I asked Tara about them later; she said they weren’t dating but the girl wanted to.

IV planned to go to a Charlie Peacock concert, and taped a flyer about it to the top of the information desk in the Campus Center, such as people often did with flyers.  Next to it was a sign-up sheet.

Some Sigma frat brats, however, got together and wrote derogatory comments about Peacock’s last name.  I had never, ever thought of his name that way before; I always thought of it as referring to the bird with the beautiful, colorful tail, not to a certain four-letter-word.

These frat boys wrote their names in the sign-up list, making us think a bunch of people were coming to the concert, then erased them or crossed them out.  We were incensed at their rudeness and their feeble, immature attempts at humor.  Pearl said they were doing themselves a disservice because “Charlie Peacock is really talented.”

Pearl and I and maybe one or two others went to the concert.  A woman in her thirties or forties drove us there in her van.

Elmbrook was a gigantic church in Brookfield (now we call it a mega-church) with a sanctuary/auditorium that seated the whole church, which I believe held about 5,000 people.  Pearl’s aunt went there, and kept longing to go out with one of the many Christian men she always saw there.  This church was a popular place for Christian bands and singers to perform.

Peacock sat on the stage at a grand piano and played.  He sang “Dear Friend,” to the delight of both Pearl and me.  He told us about his life, and that this was going to be his last performance: he wanted to spend more time with his family.  Though understandable, this depressed Pearl and me.  However, it wasn’t so bad after all, because he released more albums after this.

I wanted to meet Peacock afterwards, but he disappeared, and all we could find was his opening act, Out of the Grey.  I’d bought this couple’s Shape of Grace CD over the summer.

The husband, Scott Dente, was wonderfully cute, with dark hair and a long nose.  The wife, Christine, was beautiful, too, but Pearl and I didn’t want to look at her.  (You can see them here.)

During their act, Scott joked about being overshadowed by Peacock on the tour.  When we found them in the sanctuary, I had just bought Peacock’s CD Lie Down in the Grass in the big foyer.

I don’t remember if Christine was there, but Scott was with some other people.  All I had to give him to autograph were the liner notes from Peacock’s CD.  He said, “Oh, no, not HIM!”  He wrote his initials and drew a little guitar.

I played this CD over and over again the next few weeks, loving its sound.  It was strange, with a unique sound I’d never heard anywhere before, and fun to listen to.  “Human Condition” was one of my favorite songs.

On the way home from the concert, the Michael W. Smith song “Friends” played on the van’s tape deck.  I listened to the words and thought of Shawn.  A tear or two escaped my eyes.  Some of the words to this song are,

Friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them, and a friend will not say never ’cause the welcome will not end.  Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

I kept thinking of Shawn, and how our friendship had fallen apart.  He hadn’t called me after Cindy gave him my number.

Random Stories

I received an invitation to have dinner in Bossard with Miriam Gilbert and David Janoviak.  Only certain students were invited: I think it was for Writing majors and probably English or Theater majors.  Or it may have been for Honors CORE students; I really don’t remember.  In any case, the partitions were put up so that we were in a small area near the Muskie and the doors to the stairs.

My fiction teacher was also there.  She and, I believe, Gilbert talked on and on about the 60s, and what we students had missed by not being born in time to experience 1969.

I wasn’t sure what had happened in 1969, but I didn’t think I’d missed all that much.  I saw the 60s as an unstable time with revolts against things that didn’t deserve a revolt, such as the church and moral values.  Its drugs and free love were destructive.

I preferred to live in a time when my campus wouldn’t be overrun by protests or snipers or people who wanted to blow up campus buildings.  (High school teachers had told us how bad things got even in South Bend schools.)  Though everyone called my campus apathetic, I found it peaceful and pleasant.

Janoviak was a directing actor, had recently played Hamlet in a critically acclaimed performance, and was a former Roanoke student.  I knew about his accomplishments because Counselor Dude had posted an article about him on his door.  Gilbert was an English professor at the University of Iowa.

The next morning at 10:30am, they held a lecture on Hamlet.  Gilbert acted as a director, and told Janoviak how she wanted him to perform the “To be or not to be” speech.  She would tell him to play it pensively, comically, or with emphasis on this or that, and he would do it.

I noted that, depending on what emphasis you gave it, the same speech could have profoundly different meanings each time you said it.

I thought the presentation was fascinating, and wrote in my day planner, “’twas cool!”  Many students, however, couldn’t hear it, so they thought it was awful.  The bad acoustics in the Bradley auditorium were well known; I sat in one of the front rows, and could hear everything.  I figured if these kids had heard what was said, they would have been just as entranced as I was.


The ice cream selection that year was disappointing.  It still had some of the good flavors, but not as many and not as often.

That year or the year before, guys began wearing their baseball caps backwards.  The Group hated it.  We didn’t mind so much if the cap was worn properly, but backwards was just awful.

Around this time, if one of us was accused of lust, we would say, “It’s not lust!  I’m enjoying his beauty.”

Whiteheart‘s album Highlands came out around this time.  I had a bunch of coupons, which came with any Christian album I bought; there were enough to get Highlands for free as a cassette tape.  I didn’t know the songs and had no memories, familiarity, or nostalgia attached to them yet.  But in time, I would.  It had an excellent mix of rock and Celtic themes.  This is significant later.


On a day in early fall, perhaps in September or October, the weather had been cool, but then we had the last eighty-degree day of the year.  So I wandered around the woods.  It may have been my first time back there since Peter had broken up with me.  Until senior year, I would only go back there occasionally.

On this particular day, I watched black water bugs play on the surface of the lake, I think I saw a bunny or two, and I know I saw the cutest baby frogs.  I believe I got a little lost.  By the time I got back to the Campus Center, it was after my usual dinnertime of 5 o’clock.

I tried a new thing that evening: a chicken soft shell taco from the taco bar (which was sometimes there instead of the deli bar) and guacamole.  (The deli and taco bars were started before or during February 1992 because of student requests, and gave an alternative to whatever lunch or dinner choices were in the regular line.  They were also meant to shorten the regular line.)

I never found the guacamole there again, but I thought it was delicious on a chicken burrito.  Since I couldn’t find guacamole again, I learned that sour cream sauce was also delicious.

After that, I often went to get a chicken burrito or soft shell taco with chicken.  Since my dad couldn’t eat Mexican food, and I knew very little about it besides what I had in school lunches, I had no idea that you could get chicken burritos or soft shell tacos.  All I ever knew was beef with too many spices.


One night, the Phi-Delts had a party in the Pub.  Sharon played pool in a kind of tournament, and Pearl and I watched her.

As she played, a drunk, tall guy, Asian or Hispanic, came over and began talking to us.  He must have been older than college-age.  He kept hitting on Sharon and me.  Neither of us liked him because he was drunk, smoking and kind of scary.  Fortunately, his sober brother watched over him.


IV Bible Study/Small Group schedules: Daniel: Astrid in her room on Mondays at 8; Exploring the Gospels: Sharon in her room on Wednesdays at 8; Job: Pearl on Wednesdays at 9.

I don’t remember much about the other Bible studies, so maybe I didn’t go to those, but I do remember Astrid’s.  Only Clarissa and I went, but we loved it.  I would grab a piece of Werther’s butter candy as Clarissa and I went all the way up the back stairs to the third floor and Astrid’s room.

Astrid was UCC, but conservative.  Sometimes, her roommate Chloe sat nearby, doing homework.  We read the chapters out loud and talked about them, then Astrid led us in a short prayer.

We loved the many and repetitious verses detailing all the different officials and different instruments played at celebrations: They were fun to read out loud.  Outside of the Bible study, this would become our inside joke.  Here’s an example:

And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up (Daniel 3:2, NKJV).

These officials are repeated in verse 3.  Verse 5 reads:

[T]hat at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

These instruments are repeated in verse 7.


One day, the obscene phone caller struck again.  Now that Clarissa and I lived in Krueger, his favorite spot, we got a call from him one day.  I don’t remember much about it, just that I answered, told him very little, and hung up quickly.

One day, probably during bingo in Bossard, a girl we knew named Mona V. sat with us.  She started throwing food around, probably those dry Cheerios which were put in bowls and supposed to be used for bingo chips.

One struck Frank right on his ever-bigger bald spot.  Embarrassed, she didn’t want him to know she did it.  She and my friends disliked him because he was a bit of a pervert, cracking crass sex jokes all the time.

As for my friend Mona S., who started a prayer group with me freshman year, she dropped out of school early sophomore year.  But we kept in contact by letter.

Kids in the Hall, a Canadian comedy troupe, now provided the Group with another catchphrase: You shut one eye, look at somebody, frame her head with your index finger and thumb, start squeezing your fingers together, and say, “I’m crushing your head!”

Whenever I felt bored at meals and had drained most of my Mountain Dew, I poured a bit of salt into my cup and watch it fizz up.

Carol called Astrid “Boing-Boing” because she was bouncy like Tigger.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:


Deceived: About Toxic “Best” Friends

You don’t know what it is to be me
I was lied to and flat deceived
One more time
Twist the knife in my back
I don’t need no friends like that

You give me your word that you’d
Always be my true friend
Now that you’re gone I can go on with
My life again

–From “Deceived” by Klank:

This whole album is awesome.  I listened to it, especially this song, all the time in the first year after the breakup from my “best” friend.  Buy here.  (Amazon tells me I bought it on December 26, 2002.  What staying power!  🙂  )

Seeing Abuser is Rough for Abuse Victims, Especially When Abusers & Enablers Blame the Victim: Annie’s Mailbox

From No Gifts From Her Abuser, 2/10/13:

Dear Annie: I am 39 years old. For the past 20 years, I have had ongoing therapy to recover from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. My abuser was my half-brother.

When I finally said something at the age of 13, my family did not believe or support me. Since then, family gatherings have been especially difficult because my family expects me to attend when my abuser is present.

I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to be around him. The flashbacks are unbearable. Five years ago, with the support of my counselor, I decided I didn’t need to subject myself to that kind of torture and stopped going to these family functions.

The problem now is that no one mentions the abuse, especially to his wife and two daughters.

His wife, who is clueless, sends me Christmas and birthday presents, which makes me extremely uncomfortable, especially when I see his name on the card.

Is it OK for me to ask her to stop? I don’t want to insert myself into their lives or cause problems, but I can’t deal with this. — Still Healing

Comment #3, from Shasta:

You should inform her right away about what was done to you and then stay clear of that family from this point on.

People who protect, defend, ignore, or (God forbid) blame the victim are just as bad as the abuser themselves. They are justifying evil, which makes them evil too.

Also see It’s Perfectly Normal to Dread Seeing Abusers Again, Fighting the Darkness: Seeing the abuser again, Needing to Feel Safe: Going to same church as abusers, and Fighting the Darkness: Mutual Friends.

Guide to Understanding the Introverted

See Guide to Understanding the Introverted on LOLSnaps.

Some excerpts:

Introverted people…naturally find most interaction exhausting and need time to recharge.

The article describes how to pleasantly greet an introvert, without pressuring this person into talking–which will naturally draw them to you if they want company.

Don’t demand to have energy spent on you when it’s not particularly needed.  Don’t take silence as an insult–It isn’t!  Introverts get lonely, too.

Llamapower writes in the comments:

That attitude is exactly the problem. Introverts are not in need of ‘help.’ There’s nothing wrong with us; we’re just quiet.

Why do so many extroverts think it’s okay to patronize us and treat us like there’s something fundamentally wrong with us as human beings, that they have to bend down from yon lofty heights to rescue the poor, lost souls?

We don’t need to ‘come out of our shells.’ We need people like act like that to realize that different people do different things, and it’s okay.

I think many extroverts are uncomfortable with introverts because they can’t readily know what we’re thinking. After all, we’re not announcing it.

And it makes them so uncomfortable that they set out to put an end to it, without realizing that if they showed genuine interest in getting to know who we are, they’d find out. No pushy antics required.

We aren’t obligated to be anyone’s entertainment, either, so that whole “She didn’t come search me out in a crowded room to say hi, so she must be a snobby bitch” thing needs to stop.

Maybe we didn’t see you. Maybe we were in a hurry. Maybe you were already engaged in conversation and we were raised not to interrupt someone mid-sentence.

Maybe we were lost in thought somewhere and didn’t realize it was you until the moment had passed. Maybe you’re a total freaking stranger, so why would we say anything?

I guarantee, though, that an introvert’s silence is not an insult. It’s our natural state. Even if you say something completely stupid, and we don’t respond to it, we’re not insulting you. In that case, keeping our mouths shut is preventing us from doing so.

If we bother to say something, chances are, as in this case, you pushed the wrong button at the wrong time.

Lastly, we generally understand extroverts quite well, as we’re almost uniformly good listeners. I have obnoxious extrovert ‘friends.’

And I have many friends who are extroverted and still perfectly capable of respecting my limits. In exchange, instead of coming *out* of my shell, I let them *in*.

They are wonderful, caring people and endless fun, and have earned a loyal companion who will talk to them openly, share in the jokes, and hold their hand through the heartaches.

Those who are neurotic attention whores… well, they get what they want, too: the perfect sounding board who won’t cut short their uninterrupted vocal stream of consciousness and let them wax poetic about their many accomplishments and frustrations all. Day. Long.

A free therapist, and a free punching bag when they need to project their insecurities on someone. Finally, someone they can make a project out of, all the while condemning the very personality traits that allow them to thrive. At least, that’s how my day went today.

Washington Post: “Let’s Just Say It: The Republicans Are the Problem.”

A Washington Post opinion piece which pretty well sums up why I can’t in good conscience be a Republican anymore (that and the Koch Brothers):

Let’s Just Say It: The Republicans Are the Problem.

Then there’s:

[Karl Rove] defended the use of waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques based on the results they’ve produced and Justice Department interpretations of international laws.

“If this were torture, then President Obama has a moral responsibility to go after those people. And he would have if it met the test of the law,” Rove said.

“This kept us safe. I can’t tell you the details. But I know this: The information we got from targets kept us safe, led us to al Qaeda targets. I’m comfortable with the judgment of history on this.” —

Ugh.  That’s just–disgusting.  He’s not only defending torture, but he’s saying that it’s fine because it got results.

As Steve Taylor says in I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good, “The ends don’t justify the means anytime!”  (Some people have misunderstood, but that song is against bombing clinics because–as the line says–the ends don’t justify the means.)