Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Franklin Chronicle

I thought I should let you know about The Franklin Chronicle before tomorrow, seeing how I plan on writing a post that begins with the line, "Today is the first day of autumn, and, coincidentally, it is also Callan's birthday." You'll need to know who Callan is for it all to make sense.

Callan is my friend Joey's soon-to-be-four-year-old son. He also has a nine-ish-month-old son named Nolan. He is married to Melissa, and together they make up the Franklin family. They keep a blog, mostly for their extended family's sake, but if you like pictures of cute children and entries that you might someday read in a revised form in a magazine or something, then it could be for you also.

A little history: Joey and I had a literature class together a few years back (who was it, Joey—Aaron Eastley?). We were both new English majors, and we became acquinted in the course of class discussions and group work. Then there was a semester or so in which we didn't see each other, which was fine because we weren't actually friends, but during that semester apparently we both took creative writing classes and fell in love with creative nonfiction (personal essays and the like). Then one day we ran into each other in the student center. I said, "Hey man, don't we know each other from somewhere?" and Joey said, "Sure, we had that one class together."

"Oh yeah. How's it going with you?"

"Oh, I'm about to leave with my wife and son to teach English in Japan for a year. I fell in love with a thing called the personal essay and now I've joined the honors program in hopes of doing a creative thesis of personal essays with Pat Madden as my faculty advisor. How about you?"

"Oh, I just lost the student body presidential elections1 and was thinking about joining the honors program as well, plus I took creative writing from Pat Madden and also fell in love with the personal essay. In fact, your idea of doing essays as a thesis is the best idea I've ever heard. Excuse me." And with that, I went to the honors office to sign up. I should probably say about now that I owe everything to Joey and Pat Madden. I owe everything to Joey and Pat Madden.

But it gets better: a year later Joey got back and applied to be a Writing Fellow (a special kind of writing tutor). I remember finding out about it when Joey and I ran into each other someplace just after he got back ("Hey man, don't we know each other from somewhere?), and I also remember sitting in the office, talking to some coworkers, warning them about this creepy twin I had: "No seriously guys, this guy served a mission in Japan; I served in Korea. We're both English majors, both honors students, both creative writers, both doing a thesis of personal essays with Pat Madden, and now we're both Writing Fellows. I think he's trying to steal my life."

And now we're both studying creative nonfiction at Ohio University. Of course, we have things not in common (I seem to be missing a wife and two kids, for instance), and Joey may owe me just as much as I owe him. But who's counting? (No really, I hope he isn't counting, because all the rides he's given me since we got to Athens are adding up.)

This morning we were taking our turn cleaning up the church, and when we were done we were chilling in the gym while Mel practiced the organ. Joey had shown up at my house around nine, woken me up by honking a bunch, and here we were—me in what I slept in (which was what I had worn the day before), hair tangled, teeth unbrushed, still in a stupor lingering from my last dream; Joey seemingly wide awake, dressed, his family dressed (no small order, I understand), and he even had the energy after cleaning the church to play soccer with Callan. I on the other hand had opted to lay on the floor. As we were laughing about something I looked up at him and couldn't help but remark, "Joey, some days I feel like your no good bachelor friend who refuses to settle down and be responsible."

Indeed, for all our similarities, we are constantly being reminded of how different our lives are. You can find out for yourself just how different by reading his blog at

1Of all the *ahem* mistakes I've made, it's hard to believe this is one of them. And it's hard to believe we lost when lavender was our campaign color, when we were an English and a dance major taking on a phalanx of boring poli-sci business gurus, and when this was our campaign commercial. Nothing in my life has the power to so fill me with such embarassment (those sideburns!) and such pride (it's so dang good!) simultaneously as this.

1 comment:

editorgirl said...

If no good bachelor friend equals Jack Black in any form, sign me up.