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Josh Monroe *

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S: Josh Monroe: My Life's Story

BC: I'm From... I'm from travel soccer, from sports galore, from fishing on boats, from things I can't do anymore. I'm from father and mother, from brother and cousin, from aunt and uncle, from playing soccer, not nothing. Indiana, it's where I live, it's something that I wouldn't give.

FC: Josh Monroe

1: My name is Josh Monroe, and I live in Muncie, Indiana, behind the Ball State football field. I play travel soccer for DCFC, or Deleware County Futbol Club.

2: I didn't do much at one year old. There wasn't much I could do, except practice walking and getting scared from an old computer microphone's feedback. I started walking at nine months old, so it became a pass time just walking. I was my grandma's first grandchild, so, being the youngest, six of my great grandparents were still alive, and were at my first birthday party. Now, in 2012, only one is still alive.

3: 1 Year Old | A few milestones, more or less, of that second year (the first year I was going by months, obviously), were things like getting my first haircut and riding in the back of my dad's jeep. I also didn't like to sleep, so I would hit my head on anything I could, mostly the pillow, to stay awake. So, since gas was cheap enough then, my parents would take me with them for rides in the jeep, where my car seat would restrain me enough that I couldn't hit my head, so I would fall asleep. Now, anytime I can get sleep, I'm extremely happy. I still don't understand why I hated it so much when I was one.

4: In 2000 my cousin was born. I was two at the time, and excited to have a cousin to play with. However, she turned out to be more like a sister. She stayed at our house while her parents worked, and eventually she would come home with us after school for about an hour each day. But at this time, she would stay about a third or a fourth of the time with us. My uncle worked at the YOC, and my aunt worked at Apple Tree YMCA Daycare. Eventually they got a divorce. My uncle moved out and he and my cousin got very close. They lived in Muncie for a few years, so I was able to visit them often. Then he moved to Georgia. Now, my cousin spends about half of the year in Georgia, where my uncle and step-aunt live. My cousin now has two more sisters, both of whom aren't biologically my uncle's daughters, and two small, fat dogs.

6: The year I was three, we did a lot of cool things, including visiting the Indi 500 Museum and going to Chicago for the first time. However, the most life-changing thing that happened that year was my brother being born. There isn't much I can say. One night my mom went to the hospital and my brother was born. At first I was very excited. I wouldn't have to ask one of my parents to play some game like Pokémon or Yu-gi-oh with me anymore. I couldn't have been more wrong. After multiple failed attempts to get him to play cards with me, I gave up. He started to watch the shows I would watch, like Power Rangers, the slightly more violent shows than say, Barney. I think that is the

7: reason that one day, when we were playing in our large tent, he threw a Hot Wheels car at my head. Now, he is a hyperactive, extremely noisy kid who gets mad very quickly. However, he is my brother, and he can be fun to be around sometimes, when he's not yelling or being annoying. Even after all this, I still love him.

8: When I was four, we went to North Carolina, not to go to the beach, but to visit Grandfather Mountain and the Mile-High Swinging Bridge. While we were there, we also went hiking and spelunking in a cave. The Mile-High Bridge is over a ravine in North Carolina. It is a long, suspended rope bridge extending over the ravine, which as its name says, swings back and forth about a mile above the bottom of the ravine. The suspensions were just metal bars bolted into the rock on either side of the ravine. My dad carried me over in a hiking backpack, as I couldn't, or wouldn't, walk safely across the bridge, while my one-year-old brother was carried by my mom. The hiking took place on our way up Grandfather Mountain. Nothing very interesting happened; it was just a normal hike up a mountain. However, the spelunking took place in caves in Grandfather Mountain that we would explore. This was very interesting, as I had never been inside of a large cave before. Grandfather Mountain was extremely fun.

10: In the summer, we went to Tennessee again, but this time we went with my maternal grandparents. This was probably the best one of all the trips, because my grandpa is a huge NASCAR fan, and in town, there was the NASCAR Speed Park. At the park, they have a large indoor section with an arcade. Outside, there are go-cart tracks ranging anywhere from being about 50 feet long, going in a continuous circle, to a huge (about) 1:6 scale track with scale cars. There was also a medieval putt putt course, which didn't really fit the theme. Since I was six, I could only ride in two of the tracks, meaning my dad or grandpa would drive and I would be the passenger. I could, however, drive on a third track. It was the most fun thing we did that year. Now it's more like a tradition to go each time we visit Tennessee.

12: I went to the ocean for the first time when I was six. Early in the summer, we went to North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. About half way there, we heard that there were hurricane warnings for the area we were going to. After some discussion, my parents decided that we would keep going and stay at the hotel for the week. The hotel was on the beach, so naturally we would go swimming in the ocean. The first night, however, there was a strong storm that went on for the whole night. After the storm, the weather was very nice for the rest of the time we stayed. The best thing about the beach was the boogie-boarding. My parents bought my brother and I each a board. For the last day, all we did was stay at the ocean and ride the waves back to the beach from about ten feet out. As we left, we could see the start of a small hurricane off on the horizon.

14: My grandparents live in Arizona. On spring break my family went to their house to stay for a week. We flew to Phoenix and they picked us up at the airport for the drive down to Tucson. On the way down we saw a dust devil which is a tornado in the desert made of dust. We saw a few deserted cars here and there is the desert. According to my grandfather, if there was a car like that in the desert normally that would mean that there were illegal immigrants that had recently crossed and deserted the car. The first thing I did when we got to their house was to pick up a stone. In Arizona they usually decorate their yard with rocks instead of grass because it doesn’t grow well in the heat. I was going to rearrange the stones into a design of some sort. However as soon as I picked up the rock, a scorpion crawled out underneath it! They were just coming out of hibernation. My grandfather told my instead of picking up rocks in Arizona, you should kick them over with your foot and check for scorpions. I did a lot of fun things in Tucson including horseback riding, spelunking in a cave and feeding ostriches and lorikeets.

15: My grandparents like to hike so we did that every day. Now we go back to Arizona for spring break about every other year.

16: At age 8 my parents took me and my brother to Chicago for spring break. We stayed at the Swiss Hotel by Navy Pier so that we could see Lake Michigan from our hotel window. It was a very fancy hotel as they park your car for you, had ten dollar bottles of water in the room and a phone in the bathroom! While we were there we visited the Aquarium and they had a special display of seahorses. We also went to the Museum of Natural History where we saw the famous T-Rex named Sue and many mummies. As we left the Aquarium we walked to Soldier Field to see the new stadium since I am a Chicago Bears fan. It was very cold while we were there, but we walked to see most of the sights because there is a lot of traffic in Chicago. We walked to see The Bean, which is a huge bean-shaped metal structure that is reflective. We took several family pictures reflected in The Bean. There is also an outdoor ice skating rink and an outdoor amphitheater for concerts in the summer.

17: Overall our trip to Chicago was a great one and one that I will remember.

18: This is the year I started playing soccer, but the most important thing that I did was go to a family reunion. The family reunion was at my second cousin’s house in Delphi. Her name is Stacey and she is my mom’s cousin. Stacey has two brothers, also my second cousins, who make homemade potato cannons out of heavy plastic tubing. As a target we used an old rusty refrigerator that was set up in the front yard. To shoot the cannon we would spray a chemical into the back so that when the button was pressed the nails in that section of tubing were shocked with electricity. The electricity would set off an explosion in that chamber and cause the potato to be shot out of the barrel. We shot potatoes, apples, onions, and tomatoes. The cannon shot hard enough that some of the potatoes went through the refrigerator. By the end of the day there were about fifteen holes

19: in the refrigerator. My two second cousins also brought their gasoline-powered RCs. We drove them around for a few minutes. I now own my own electric- powered RC. The electric-powered RCs can go about 55 miles per hour. This was a great family reunion.

20: I was 10 when I played my first, and only, elementary basketball season. We weren't the best team-not by a long shot-as we lost all of our games except for one. There were a few funny moments, but one will always stick in my mind. The game was almost over, and we were losing. The other team's coach put in some of the non-starters. One of them was extremely short, so naturally, when he got the ball close to the basket, Khamasi, who was the tallest kid on the team, was guarding him. None of is teammates were open, so he did the only thing available to him. He shot. As the ball passed in front of Khamasi, he swatted the ball out of bounds, hitting the wall. There was a loud bang, and the gym got quiet. During the awkward silence, Khamasi, some kids on the bench, and I started laughing. Someone on the bench, by tradition, yelled, "You're in the bushes." The phrase "You're in the bushes" comes from the movie Bench Warmers. At the time, we thought that was the funniest part of the movie, so we adapted it so that every time your shot was denied, someone screamed "You're in the bushes."

22: At 11, I was in my second year of travel soccer, which is about four seasons. I had been playing with the same team for the 2 years, and I was still one of the newer kids on the team. So, naturally, I was surprised when my coach chose me as team captain. The first season I played, we went undefeated. The second, we only lost one or two. My third, we did really well, and this was the first year I was team captain. Ever since that season, I have been team captain. I have only gotten mad at my team once, when they weren't getting back on defense. I yelled at them, and they got back. We still lost, I didn't handle it as I should have, but I handled it how I handled it.

25: When I was 12, I had an obsession with salsa. My family decided that it would be cheaper to grow our own tomatoes and make our own salsa. We went out and bought some seeds and planted them. Halfway through their growing cycle, the tomatoes started to attract insects and animals. like rabbits, worms, and birds. Eventually, we caught a tomato worm, which is an ugly, large, obviously tomato-eating worm. We put it in a cage and kept it in our house. By doing this, we changed it's life cycle. He ended up hatching a few weeks early. We thought it was dead, until one day it was gone. That is a picture of me sitting next to the cage with the worm in it.

26: I was 13 in 2011. By this time in my life, my family had an established period of time, which lasted a few weeks, when we would all go out to Tennessee and stay in a log cabin in the mountains. During the week, we would go to the NASCAR Park, explore some other stuff in town, Mostly, we would fish. If you follow the road downhill from the cabin, you will see some man-made ponds. You can fish in these, but the most fun is trying to catch trout in a river that flows through a park. Catching a trout of any size was the big prize. One day, my dad and I went to the river to try and catch some trout. We were unsuccessful, and I took a plunge in the river a few times trying to catch crayfish. We left when we heard thunder in the distance, but we got a few bites, and it was very fun.

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Corby Roberson
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