Disclaimer 1: For those of you with no interest in Vox – please feel free to skip. But you might find it interesting – from the angle of hearing a little of what it was like to grow up Baptist.
Disclaimer 2: I have found that my memories of the distant past are often lacking in their accuracy.
Disclaimer 3: For those of you considering going to Vox’s blog, know that he is often wrong. And he’s coarse in his wrongness. That’s why I put him “At Your Own Risk”. There are those who think I shouldn’t even have the link to him (one in particular really, really doesn’t think I should). I don’t want to take down the link – So I’ll simply warn you in this way: Sometimes I don’t know if he’s sexist and racist or if he’s crazy.
(See First Vox Day and Me Post)
In any case – here is -
Vox Day and Me, Part 2: The Teen Years
Ah, Junior High. The Golden Years. The Transition Years. Yes, Vox was a geek. Or maybe geek-ish. (Actually those words don’t really fit. How about ‘Not the pinacle of coolness’?) Now, obviously he didn’t rise near the level of awkwardness that Jamsco flew to. Here’s an illustrative story:
Okay, I hesitate to mention this story, (mostly because it will delight Nate), but I could bring you to the spot in the Narthex (or Foyer? again I get them mixed up) where I mentioned to Vox (say, in eighth grade) that I showered every day. I then stated that it hadn’t been that long since I only showered once a week. His grim reply: “I know.”
But as far as I can recall, he wasn’t yet a part of the cool crowd at our church (Yes, we had one – they were mostly pretty nice.) That was to come later.
Vox and I were in Scouts. As I have previously mentioned, his Dad was the Scoutmaster.
I recall a conversation on the way home from a winter camping trip about evolution and Vox asked his dad if he could bring the Creation-focused ideas they were discussing to his science teacher at school. His dad said yes. I don’t know how that went.
I also remember the night before the 1980 Presidential election, we scouts held a mock election. I voted for Carter (it was, I think, the only time I voted for Democratic presidential candidate), Vox voted for Reagan. I asked him why he liked Reagan and my fuzzy memory is that he said that Reagan would print a greater amount of money – and that that would help the economy. More recent statements from Vox make me think that this memory might be wrong. Maybe he can shed some light into this.
It was on a week-long scouting trip to the Boundary Waters that I first heard about the Lord of the Rings – from Vox, who had a LOTR comic book. I remember thinking out loud how cool it would be to have a ring that would make you invisible only to be disappointed by Vox’s dark response that it didn’t turn out so well for the people who used it. I didn’t actually read that book until after college. It’s now my favorite.
. . . Okay, I can hear your voices collectively calling out to me “Jamsco! When was Vox a chicken when you weren’t? You promised!”
Oh yes. I did say that I was going to tell a story along those lines in my previous Vox Day and Me post. *
Alright, alright! Our youth group leaders were crazy and they brought us (a bunch of young teens) on a weekend trip to Wisconsin (no, that’s not the crazy part) where we all went cliff jumping**. From hundreds of feet up (again – remember when I mentioned that my memory of decades old details was hazy?). Into the St. Croix River. But they only allowed us to do this (obviously) after swimming around in the jump zone to make sure there were no branches or other kinds of pointy objects just under the surface. To do otherwise might have been dangerous.
In any case, when I say ‘we all went’ I should clarify: Jamsco and several others jumped off the cliff. But not Vox. Now he’ll tell you (if he hasn’t blocked this out of his mind) that the reason he didn’t jump off the cliff was because he was too sun-burnt from an afternoon of tubing down the Apple River. At least that’s what he told me that day. I nodded, in seeming acceptance of his explanation.
Also, I should say in fairness that he might have jumped off a lower cliff. But I think that was only like eight feet up or something. There, are you satisfied?
For a short time in high school, I was in a small Bible study with Vox. A youth leader came and picked us up at our homes and brought us to a Macdonalds and we talked about the Bible. We met on Tuesdays. I remember this only because one time Vox got into the car and said, “It’s KQ92s day!”***
I didn’t know what this was. I learned later. For those of you non-Twin-Citians, suffice to say that KQRS is not a radio station that Mr. W would appreciate [see post #1].
Vox may have done the Put-the-ketchup-packet’s-under-the-car-wheel prank on this youth leader on one occasion. He also may have borrowed a Superman novel that I hadn’t yet read, and never returned it. But I’m not bitter.
Years later, after reading the fourth paragraph of the first chapter of “The World In Shadow” I because nervous that at one point in this Bible study I may have stated that a particular passage in the bible was “really neat.” It might have happened.
And then, as sometimes happens with families, I became aware that Vox’s tribe was no longer going to our church. It would be sometime before I’d see Vox again. But that’s for next time.
In conclusion, it is my fervent hope that Vox doesn’t post every embarrassing “Yes, Jamsco was incredibly awkward” story he can think of. I’m sure he has some. But, really, I think he’s above that kind of thing.
* By the way, there was a complaint in the comments of the last Vox post along the lines of “you mean all you’re going to do is tell anecdotes?” I’m not entirely sure what else he was expecting.
** Again, I predict here Nate will say something like: “You call cliff jumping crazy? Our youth groups used to have pellet gun shoot-outs with first Baptist from the next town over! And no eye protection!”
*** Not sure how to spell this.