Friday, September 9, 2011

the JULIE THOMPSON experience

Julie Thompson turns out to be one of my oldest friends. She lived up the street from us on Parkwood when I was in grade school. She is a year my junior and her brother, Louis, is a year my senior. Sometime around 1978 Louie and I burned down her backyard. Julie and I went to a school dance together as pals when she was dating my skate buddy Jeremy Sturgell through some of high school. She wound up at CSU with her soon to be hubby, John Fitzthum. They lived in Carbondale after graduating from college. They first taught me how to play FARKLE in Carbondale back in the late 90's. And she soon sent me my first pocket Farkle game. I would drive to COLORADO or Kansas at least once a year back then and would always stop in and visit the Fitzthum's. {as with most of my married female friends, it feels more normal to use maiden names} Two funny and good natured kids came their way....and then a move back to Wichita came around 2008. Maybe it was earlier.

Julie gets me. Not many people do, especially my long time Kansan friends and acquaintances. I can't explain it.... we have our similarities and we have plenty of differences.... but she just gets me.  She's a doer and knows how to have fun. Far from stuffy, she's gracious, understanding, and accommodating. She knows her limitations and plans accordingly. I'm blessed to have her in my life.
Julie at the 911 call center tour

 Julie is a busy gal and this trip it took me a week or so to connect. We had a brief visit at JOHN BROWN's - their new restaurant and bar. Last visit I was able to introduce Julie to Bianca. They have kids around the same age and tend to get into unusual activities. Since I was away, they'd both joined 4H. John Junior has been the most enthusiastic about it; Zep, not so much. Julie invited me to go on the 4H tour of the local 911 emergency call center!
John Junior was in his element on the tour.
Impersonating an emergency management professional
After Johnny had his many questions answered on the tour and we all got a tour of a storm chaser's vehicle out in the parking lot, we went for snacks at THE DONUT WHOLE.

Not too long after the 911 call center tour, I got the call about a boating adventure. Julie's neighbor and good friend, Kate, has a speedboat parked at El Dorado Lake. It's a 45 minute drive out there and we just had to be back in time to get the kids from the school bus in the mid afternoon. We were brainstorming about who else could join us, and the best I could come up with was Tammi Reeves.  I didn't think it would happen, but, Julie has a way of making things happen. I hesitate to say that Tammi and I dated briefly when I was in 8th grade. I can't remember squarely if we went STEADY or just dated a few times.... regardless of the specifics I LIKED her at one point in my life. She's married with children now and  it was fun to hang with her after so many years.
half a day on a BOAT. julie, kate, and tammi
It was cloudy when we pulled out of the slip, but soon after, the sun came out. The water was chilly, far from OCEAN cold, but still chilly. Julie and I tried out the 3 person TUBE first. It was a gas until we hit a wave and both got ejected at top speed. Ragdoll anyone? At least we didn't smack heads in mid air, the way I heard Kate and Brian Martin did one fateful day.

Julie can water ski
Julie got out the water skis and showed me how it's done. It took me a few times to get up but I finally did. I hadn't been dragged behind a boat like that since I was in second grade. Remember Mrs. Clinton.... ?  Those trips to her ranch in Oklahoma were the last time on water skis for me.
thanks for a great day on the water, KATE & Julie
Julie's mom & dad, Sally & Tommy, used to live on a boat in the Caribbean, but now they live pretty close to Julie in Vickerage. They have a pool and are very stoked when people come over and use it. I had an open invite to go swimming when ever I wanted. Best thing is that they do have a diving board.
Solo afternoon at Sally & Tommy's
This trip I was able to reconnect with Julie's brother, Louie. He has two kids and Brodie and Zep and I got in on a wild afternoon at the pool. This shot was a quiet moment.
lounging poolside
That first day I linked up with Julie at John Brown's, was actually a meeting of the Back Alley Girls. At that time I was invited to Kirstie Alley's home in Wichita to watch her perform on Dancing with the Stars. Her Wichita residence is right across the street from John Brown's. So on that Monday night, we met at the restaurant and walked over to Kirstie's place. Wichita has a lots of Kirstie fans and a lot of them were there as well as the local news. YES> I felt out of place, but tried to blend in.... as i was one of the only males in attendance, besides the camera guy for the news. As strange as it was, I so glad I was able to experience it.

And finally, on my last night in Wichita, Julie rallied her troops and came down to the DONUT WHOLE to see my band, HK, perform. Thanks for the support, Julie..... looking forward to seeing you next time.
Johnny and Henry with their FREEBOX findings.
Robbie Canova's kid on vocals!!

next up.... the FARKEL factory tour

1 comment:

  1. Love it Kevin! Always great times with you around, I forgot we packed all that in you are a forever friend! Love you ~Julie