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Autobiography - Seekamp

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S: Ashley Nicole Bowman

1: 1. Dennis the Menace Strikes Again 2. O.J. Simpson and Burger King 3. Sleepy Hollow Lake 4. Save a Tab, Save a Life 5. Bigfoot 6. SooperDooperLooper 7. Katherine Mary Longmire 8. The Intimidator 9. Judy's New York Style Cheesecake 10. Strength and Courage 11. Ashley Nicole Bowman 12. New York City

3: To my parents, Jeffrey and Michele Bowman, my grandparents, my close friends, and my cats, Allie and Haley.

5: There are seven vowels and eleven consonants in my name. There is passion and love, strength and sophistication. Eighteen letters form the name that is desolate to the world. There is history in my last name, personality in my first. This autobiography scarcely describes my life and the woman I have become over the past eighteen years. "A man's memory is bound to be a distortion of his past in accordance with his present interests, and the most faithful autobiography is likely to mirror less what a man was than what he has become." -- Fawn M. Brodie

6: Dennis the Menace Strikes Again There is no special significance behind my name. I was not named after my grandmother or a special event that occurred on June 15th, 1994. I was given the name Ashley Nicole Bowman because my parents wrote it on my birth certificate. In English, my name means “Ash Tree Meadow.” However, it means more than those three words can ever describe. It means a loving daughter, a protective sister, and a reliable friend. My surname was derived from Scottish origin meaning an archer; a person that makes bows. My surname is frequently mispronounced. Substitute teachers stutter as they attempt to read my name on the attendance list. Throughout my lifetime I have been given a vast array of nicknames. I have acquired each of my nicknames in various ways. I received the nicknames “Dingleberry” and Dennis the Menace as a child for my foolish actions and crazy ideas. During Middle School I cut my hair similar to Kelly Clarkson, resulting in the nickname Kelly-Ash. Fortunately, these nicknames did not follow me to High School. To the Varsity Field Hockey girls I am known by my “ghetto” name, Shay Shay. The stories behind each name are far too complex for an “outsider” to understand. I am more commonly known as Ash or Bowman, the least original of my collection of nicknames. There are seven vowels and eleven consonants in my name. There is passion and love, strength and sophistication. Eighteen letters form the name that is desolate to the world. There is history in my last name, personality in my first. “From our ancestors come our names, but from our virtues our honors.”

8: O.J. Simpson and Burger King King John put his royal seal on the Magna Carta on the fifteenth of June early in the thirteenth century. Five hundred and sixty-one years later, Delaware declared itself independent of Britain and became a state. The United States gained control of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, one hundred forty-eight years before the most significant event to occur on the fifteenth of June; the birth of Ashley Nicole Bowman. Ashley Nicole Bowman was brought into this world by Michele and Jeffrey Bowman on June 15, 1994 at 6:28 PM. My father raced home from work, packed my mother's bags, and drove to Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, New York. Shortly after I was delivered, he drove on Broadway Street in Kingston to order his celebratory dinner from Burger King. “My dinner was from Burger King – a double hamburger and onion rings. I remember waiting in line in their drive-thru the whole time I kept saying to myself ‘I’m a father’”(Bowman, Jeffrey). The following day my father returned home to shower and change his clothes. As he opened the door of the house he was struck by a “wall” of sweltering heat and a repulsive odor. “The smell was nauseating” (Bowman, Jeffrey). He began to search the house for the atrocity. In my mother's haste to prepare for their adventure to the hospital, she grabbed several frozen chicken breasts and placed them on top of the refrigerator while searching for an ice pack. Essentially, the frozen chicken breasts had been “baking” in our house for two days on top of our refrigerator. At the time we did not use “Evergreen Disposal” or “Country Waste and Recycling” to dispose of our garbage. My father wrapped the rotting chicken breasts in an infinite number of Price Chopper plastic bags and began his journey to Benedictine Hospital. As he was driving on the New York State Thruway a light bulb went off. He pulled into the Malden Service Area and disposed of the decomposing chicken breasts in the garbage can outside the building.

9: Pixilated commercials advertising Pizza Hut's “Bigfoot” pizza stretched across our 19” television during the Super Bowl XXVIII. In Atlanta, Georgia, 72,817 exuberant fans watched the battle between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. The “Rockin’ Country Sunday” halftime performance featured the Judds, Clint Black, and Tanya Tucker. According to Nerve, an online American magazine, the Super Bowl XXVIII halftime performance was the “Worst Super Bowl Halftime Show.” In the fourth quarter, Emmitt Smith scored a touchdown for the Cowboys, leading Dallas to their 30-13 victory and their second straight championship (www.super-bowl-history.us). The 1994 Winter Olympics were held in Lillehammer, Norway. The Winter Olympics were deemed the most environmentally friendly in history because of Norway’s recycling and energy saving techniques. On August, 12, 1994, the Major League Baseball Players Association began a strike that “led to the cancellation of between 931 and 948 games overall, including the entire 1994 postseason and World Series” (www.wikipedia.org). On the days surrounding the day of my birth, O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. “I remember watching the famous chase of O.J. Simpson in his white Bronco while I was in the hospital” (Bowman, Michele). On June 17, 1994, O.J. Simpson and A.C. Cowling led the California Police on a nine hour chase on Interstate 405. Days later, Simpson was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. During October of the following year, Simpson was acquitted (www.law.umkc.edu). On January 1, 1994, NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, began which removed trade barriers between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The Whitewater investigation went underway, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first black president of South Africa, and Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty, signifying the end of the forty-six year war between the two nations (www.thepeoplehistory.com). Designated as the “International Year of the Family,” the year of my birth was significant for many reasons. It was the year of genetically engineered tomatoes and Bill Clinton. Kimberly Clarice Aiken was crowned as Miss America and Pope John Paul II was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. The United States of America mourned the death of our former president, Richard Nixon and the birth of Ashley Nicole Bowman and Justin Drew Bieber were celebrated.

12: Sleepy Hollow Lake “An exceptional Hudson Valley lifestyle and New York’s best kept secret!” Sleepy Hollow Lake is notorious for an intricate network of roads and an infinite number of stop signs. My home is located on Wolf Court, a cul-de-sac lined by several houses and hundreds of trees. In the early 1900’s, our property was used as farmland. Today, an archaic stone wall, rustic farm equipment, and perilous well remain. A beagle howls as my grandmother walks by in haste. A young man driving a decrepit and rusted vehicle throws the Times Union onto our luscious grass. A Sleepy Hollow Lake Public Safety vehicle cruises by, exceeding the speed limit of twenty miles per hour. Richard treks his kayak to the Hudson River in his Silver Honda Fit. Heather, a quadriplegic, and her eighteen year old niece, Katie, travel from Fort Myers, Florida to their home in Sleepy Hollow Lake for a week in July. Sherri clumsily runs down the road with her Beagle, Honey, as her husband, Joe, travels to Cumberland Farms for a cup of coffee. Keene, an energetic German Shepard runs with a tennis ball. His owners, Dick and Diane, are friendly and welcoming. “Your next-door neighbor is not a man; he is an environment. He is the barking of a dog; he is the noise of a piano; he is a dispute about a party wall; he is drains that are worse than yours, or roses that are better than yours” said Gilbert K. Chesterton. Blooming flowers and budding trees proclaim the beginning of spring. Residents of Sleepy Hollow Lake run along the streets in the brisk air. Children wear t-shirts, anxiously awaiting the warm summer sun. I vividly recall riding my bike with my sister, Brittney. The breeze blows through our golden blonde hair as we traverse the rugged terrain of Sleepy Hollow Lake. The smell of Chlorine and sunscreen intensifies as we approach Lisa Lane. The warm summer sun burns my fair Irish skin as I become engrossed in a Jodi Picoult novel. The bold leaves dance through the autumn air. Pumpkins are perched upon porches throughout Sleepy Hollow Lake. December leaves evolve into snow. I peered through the slats in my blinds, watching the large snowflakes fall gracefully from the sky. Sleepy Hollow Lake has become a winter wonderland and a blanket of snow lies on pine trees strung with colorful lights. As I have matured into a young woman, Sleepy Hollow Lake has developed and flourished into a bustling community.

13: Sleepy Hollow Lake

15: Save a Tab, Save a Life I have collected approximately one hundred thousand aluminum can tabs in the past four years. When I began collecting them in 2008, I had very low expectations. My intention was to send my collection to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, which sells can tabs to aluminum recycling centers to fund special projects and programs for their patients. I had the support of my family, but I never expected it to catch on with my friends I received small Ziploc®Bags from students at school. I plucked them off Arizona Iced Tea cans in the cafeteria and rummaged through cans at the bottle return center. One day, while reading the local newspaper, I noticed a small article about “Catskill Truck Day. The event, sponsored by Friends of Rachel, is a program started in memory of Rachel Scott, the first person killed during the shooting at Columbine High School. As“Catskill Truck Day neared I became increasingly excited. I wanted to collect as many can tabs as I could before the big day. On May 30, 2009, my mom and I set off to “Catskill Truck Day with seven pounds of can tabs. Over 1.5 million can tabs had been collected through the collaborative efforts of Catskill and other local communities. I started my collection for Catskill Truck Day 2010 that very same day. At the beginning of my freshman year I made the decision to join the Coxsackie-Athens High School Interact Club. At that time, I involved my friends in my effort, but I wanted to go BIGGER. Collection jars were placed in the cafeteria and flyers were splattered upon the walls of my high school. On May 22, 2010, Mrs. McIntyre, Mrs. Bowman, and six students from Coxsackie-Athens High School, traveled to Catskill to participate in Catskill Truck Day 2010. The results were overwhelming. Over 3.3 million can tabs were collected, surpassing the goal of 2 million. In preparation for Catskill Truck Day 2011, Coxsackie-Athens High School and EJ Arthur Elementary School collaborated in hope of collecting an outstanding number of can tabs. Together, both schools collected 200 pounds. It is a wonderful thing to see a community work together to achieve a goal. At the 2011 event, over 6.2 million can tabs were collected. Tabs were sent to Catskill High School from cities as far away as Anchorage, Alaska, and Ashland, Virginia. As of now I have collected thirty-five pounds of can tabs and am eagerly awaiting“Catskill Truck Day”2012.T Through the combined efforts of Coxsackie-Athens School District, Catskill School District, and other school districts across the country, over ten million can tabs have been collected. These tabs are sold to aluminum recycling centers to fund special projects and programs for the patients of Shriners Hospital for Children. It amazes me that a small piece of aluminum can brighten someones day.

16: Bigfoot The bright white February snow compressed under the weight of my feet as I walked through the woods in the brisk winter air. In the distance, a doe and her fawn searched for food on the snow covered ground. CRACK! My body froze. I heard the sounds of snapping sticks and cracking ice. “It’s most likely another doe” I thought to myself. I slowly turned around, fearful of the unknown creature behind me. Bigfoot I was certain that it was my boyfriend dressed in his Bigfoot costume that he bought for Halloween. My assumptions were incorrect. Without warning, the “Bigfoot” raised its arm and threw me across the woods. This was not a joke. I stumbled to my feet and started to run. The thunderous steps of Bigfoot echoed through the woods. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as I met my demise - the base of a ten foot fence. I stared at the fence in utter disbelief. I quickly devised a plan to escape the morbid beast. I spoke aloud, as if I was sharing my strategy with God. As I climbed up a nearby Oak tree the thunderous steps became louder. I leapt from the top branch of the Oak tree onto the back of Bigfoot. The monster howled as I tore one of the massive limbs from his body. I ripped my hand from Bigfoot’s powerful jaw. As the monstrous creature fell to the ground in agony I quietly escaped my death. Sadly, my heroic tale is fictitious and the history of the "T" shaped scar on my finger is unknown. From an encounter with the mighty Bigfoot in the woods of Coxsackie, a confrontation with a ferocious mountain lion in the Catskill Mountains, or a sign from God...anything is possible.

19: SooperDooperLooper We drove two hundred and seventy-six miles to the hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on August 9, 2010. I pushed the luggage cart to our room on the fourth floor of the Hampton Inn. We ate Pringles and Chex Mix as we unpacked our bags for our vacation. We drove our 2008 Pontiac Torrent to Hershey Park. I applied SPF 75 to my fair Irish skin in the massive parking lot. We followed cocoa beans on a journey from a tropical rainforest to Hershey, Pennsylvania on Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour Ride in Chocolate World. A vender sold overpriced fresh-squeezed lemonade to young boys and girls in Tudor Square. I became ecstatic as we walked through the gates of the park. We ran to the Claw, an exhilarating pendulum ride. I became queasy as the Claw swung sixty-four feet above the ground. We stumbled to the Great Bear, an inverted steel roller coaster with a one hundred and twenty-four foot drop. The roar of the Great Bear was frightening and invigorating. We watched Tap The Show in the Chevrolet Music Box Theatre. The versatile singers and wildly talented tappers” moved across the stage of the air-conditioned theatre. Thunder and Lightning dueled on the tracks of Lightning Racer, a double-track wooden roller coaster. We walked through Hershey Park Outfitters and Hershey Souvenirs and Gifts as we exited Hershey Park. The tram drove through the parking lot to Tram Station 2. We joked and laughed as we drove back to the hotel. At the Hampton Inn, Brittney and I swam in the refreshing outdoor pool. We raced up several flights of stairs to our room. I set my alarm for 7:30 AM and went to sleep. My mom and I walked to the lobby of the Hampton Inn. An enormous line of guests waited for the complimentary breakfast. We ate soft bagels, crisp bacon, fresh fruit, and doughnuts. The sun disappeared and it began to rain. We drove to the Indian Echo Caverns in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. At the Indian Echo Caverns we went on a half-hour guided tour of the limestone caves. After the tour, we drove to Hershey Park to ride exhilarating roller coasters and watch Rock the Jukebox at the Chevrolet Music Box Theatre. My heart raced as we waited in line for Fahrenheit, a roller coaster featuring a one hundred and twenty-one foot vertical ascent. The SooperDooperLooper, installed in 1977, was the first looping roller coast on the East Coast. My father played a football game for a small prize. We escaped the blazing sun at the Aquatheatre. The thunderous Storm Runner passed over the theatre as we watched Our Friends From the Sea, a educational show featuring two sea lions, Geneva and Diego. Venders walked through the Aquatheatre with German kettle popcorn and colorful cotton candy. It began to rain as we walked to the GEICO®Fender Bender. I slammed into Brittney's car as we raced around the small track. The majestic Flying Falcon began to sway one hundred feet in the air. I squirmed and giggled as we flew in the air. In ZooAmerica we wandered through several rooms with venomous snakes, baneful insects, and an enormous crocodile. A mountain lion slept on a rock in the warm sunlight. A panoramic view of Hershey, Pennsylvania can be seen through the windows of the Kissing Tower. Brittney and I raced down the Merry Derry Dip Fun Slides. I lost. The Red Cross Monorail gave us an audio tour of ZooAmerica and the town of Hershey. We drove two hundred and seventy-six miles to Coxsackie, New York the next morning. My memories of our vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania are precious and ones that will never be forgotten.

20: Katherine Mary Longmire Heather built a quaint log cabin on Wolf Court in Sleepy Hollow Lake adjacent to our home approximately twenty years ago. Heather, her mother and father, and her niece, Katie, visited their home during the summer. Heather became a quadriplegic due to injuries from a car accident when she was fifteen years old. I became best friends with Katherine Mary Longmire. We ran under the blazing summer sun and played with plastic vegetables on their hard wood floors. Ellen and my mother taught us to ride our bikes at the ages of five and seven. We became increasingly anxious as they removed our training wheels. Katie and I covered our scraped elbows and knees with gauze and Band-Aids. We giggled and squealed as we drove the Barbie Jeep on Johns Jog. Ronnie drove Katie, my sister, and I to the pool in Sleepy Hollow Lake in their rental van. We played crazy games with bright foam balls, torpedoes, and colorful rings. We sipped Nestea® Iced Tea as we applied SPF 75 to our pale skin. We gossiped and giggled as we lay on the hot concrete. Heather, my mother, Katie, Brittney, and I drove to the Lee Premium Outlets in Lee, Massachusetts for back-to-school shopping. We browsed the sneakers in Reebok and rummaged through the clothing in American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and Aeropostale. Brittney, Katie, and I watched Good Eats and Unwrapped on the Food Network during our sleepover in Heather’s room. On August 3, 2011 we took a train to Pennsylvania Station in New York City, New York. We watched How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying featuring Daniel Radcliffe at Hirschfield Theatre and ate an elegant dinner at Sardi’s Restaurant. Katherine Mary Longmire and I have become best friends over the past fifteen years and continue to become closer every year. She is understanding, caring, honest, and the epitome of a memorable friend. “A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity.” -- Robert Hall

23: The Intimidator 6:03 A.M. - My fatigued fingers began to tremble as I searched for “School Cancellation” in my list of contacts. “Hello. You have reached the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District cancellation and delay hotline.” To my disappointment, the hotline had not been updated by Dr. Earl Gregory. I peered through the slats in my blinds, watching the large snowflakes fall gracefully from the sky. A blanket of snow covered the grass. I ran to the television and turned on WRGB Channel 6 News. Catskill Central School District – Closed, Cairo-Durham Central School District – Closed, Coxsackie-Athens Central School District – Closed. The first snowfall of the year brought me to the house of Lance Palmateer where I would embark on an unanticipated adventure. He picked me up in his Chevrolet Silverado, capable of navigating through the extreme weather. We conversed about the adventure ahead as we made the treacherous drive to his house on Johnny Cake Lane. Last summer, I bought my first snowmobile; a 1997 Polaris Indy Ultra 680. I named it “The Intimidator;” no affiliation with Dale Earnhardt, Sr. or the roller coaster at Carowinds in South Carolina. Lance and I spent an infinite number of hours in his two car garage. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I opened the door of the garage. My heart rate accelerated as the noise of the thunderous engine filled the garage. My thumb slowly compressed the throttle. I carefully navigated through a field of brush and trees. Adrenaline raced through my bloodstream as we neared the trailhead. We rode for miles along the railroad tracks, floating on the powdery snow. The light of a train in the distance reflected off the bright white snow. As I glided over the snow, an alarming red light appeared the engine temperature light. “This is not good” I thought to myself. I stopped abruptly and cautiously lifted the hood. A stream of neon green liquid slowly leaked from a hole in the underside of my snowmobile. The unknown liquid flowed into the snow, turning it radioactive green. Lance and I thoroughly examined my snowmobile, searching for the source of the unknown liquid. Aha! A small tear had formed in the coolant hose, leaking nearly one liter of coolant from my snowmobile. Lance wrapped the torn hose with gauze and medical tape. In an attempt to abate the high temperature, I gathered snow and ice and surrounded the engine. Twenty minutes later, we began our long adventure home. I love gazing at the winter wonderland surrounding me as I gracefully glide over the snow covered ground. This extreme sport has brought me closer to my boyfriend, Lance Palmateer.

25: Judy’s New York Style Cheesecake The angelic photograph of Judith A. Wood gracefully sits atop my wooden dresser. She was beautiful; sparkling silver hair and a radiant smile. She painted my nails every shade of pink known to man and taught me how to play piano at the age of two. My grandmother and grandfather drove their 1998 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer to Upper Rhoda Lake in Copake, New York to fish for trout and bass. Her majestic Australian Shepherds ran around the vegetable garden; abundant with firm eggplant, ripe tomatoes, and butternut squash. Their home smells of flavorful prime rib and New York Style Cheesecake. Grace, strength, and perseverance; these three words perfectly portray my grandmother’s spirit. On December 6th, 1999, Judith A. Wood passed away from breast cancer. She was fifty-eight years old. I was young and nave, misinformed and perplexed. I did not understand her death. What is breast cancer? Why didn’t the chemotherapy work? How many people are being affected by this disease? As I matured, I became inquisitive about medicine and life-threatening diseases. My grandmother played the role of a loving daughter, loyal wife, caring mother, passionate grandmother, and sympathetic friend. Throughout her life she portrayed a beauty and love toward others that I cannot comprehend. She has given me strength and motivation, courage and bravery. I aspire to become a registered nurse in remembrance of my grandmother. I hope that I am able to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from life-threatening disease and illness. “God Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”

26: Strength and Courage I have been influenced and educated by three distinct groups throughout my life; my parents, my grandparents, and my close friends. They taught me how to overcome adversity, encouraged me to do the impossible, and have shaped me into the woman I am today. I appreciate their love and dedication and I am forever grateful for each one of them. My parents, Jeffrey and Michele Bowman, are the most significant and inspirational people in my life. They are supportive, knowledgeable, and attentive. However, my mother and father However, my mother and father play significantly different roles in my life. My mother, Michele Bowman is a kind-hearted and patient woman. She unscrewed the training wheels on my bicycle and guided me along our quiet road in Sleepy Hollow Lake. Eleven years later she patiently sat in the passenger street as she taught me how to drive in her 2008 Pontiac Torrent. My sister and I swam in Sleepy Hollow Lake as my mother tossed colorful rings in the chilly pool. My mother supports my obsession with can tabs; driving to the local bank and plucking the “worthless” pieces of metal from Coca-Cola cans at the beverage center. She has sparked my interest in cooking and baking and has encouraged me to “experiment” with exotic food. Lastly, my mother inspired me to become a registered nurse. She encourages me to volunteer at Albany Medical Center to learn and gain experience. My father, Jeffrey Bowman, is understanding and generous. He spent hundreds of hours at Rainy Field to coach Little League Softball and the Coxsackie-Athens High School Gymnasium to coach my Coxsackie-Athens Youth Basketball team. He clapped and cheered from the sidelines and bleachers during my field hockey and basketball games. On the weekend, we dust and vacuum as we listen to 80’s music. He read Winnie the Pooh and Amelia Bedelia and built forts in our living room. My father kindled my interest in music. My parents taught me how to overcome adversity and learn from your mistakes. They have given me financial advice and have instilled the value of money. I appreciate everything they have done for me throughout my life and I am grateful for their dedication and support. My grandparents have given me strength and courage. My father’s parents, John and Helen Bowman, are inspirational and encouraging. They have driven hundreds of miles to sit on the metal bleachers during my Little League Softball games and have sat through numerous band concerts in the Coxsackie-Athens High School Auditorium. My sister, Brittney, and I frequently spent time with our grandparents at their home on Lee Road in Port Ewen, New York. I vividly recall walking to Ross Park with my grandmother and; my sister and I giggled and squealed as my grandmother pushed us on the old tire swing. We watched as Bob Barker announced the winner of the Price is Right, one of my grandparent’s favorite shows on television. My grandparents have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and have given me strength and courage. My mother’s parents, Gilbert and Judy Wood, will always hold a special place in my heart. My grandmother passed away twelve years ago from breast cancer. However, her spirit and beauty will never be forgotten. She was an inspirational woman and has influenced my decision to become a registered nurse. My grandfather is strong and energetic. I enjoy spending time with my grandfather and his girlfriend, Gloria, at their home in Copake, New York. I bask in the warmth of their wood stove as I search for cell phone service in their home. I am incredibly grateful for my grandfather and his girlfriend, Gloria, for their love and support. I am forever grateful for my close friends at Coxsackie-Athens High School; Sarah Pebler, Katie Ferenczy, Brigid Heslin, and Shannon Friel. They have encouraged me and have given me strength. The past four years of high school have been an emotional roller coaster. I am grateful for my close friends and their love and support. I will never forget the memories I have shared with my close friends. Katie Longmire, my close friend from Fort Myers, Florida, means the world to me. She has kept me sane and has encouraged me to stay true to myself. I appreciate each of my close friends for their support and the time we have spent together. They have made my final year at Coxsackie-Athens High School a year I will never forget. In conclusion, my life has been influenced by three distinct groups of people; my parents, my grandparents, and my close friends. I am grateful for their support and love and I appreciate each one of them. Thank you for helping me become who I am today and giving me the strength to overcome adversity.

29: Friends and Family Protective sister Daughter of Michele and Jeff Reliable friend | First Car Chevrolet Sonic Bright red with four cylinders My first car ever | Ashley Bowman Blonde hair and blue eyes Fair Irish skin with freckles Beautiful and strong | School Coxsackie – Athens Teachers, quizzes, and gossip Ambitious student | Basketball Dribble, pass, and shoot My parents and teammates cheer Determination | Ashley Nicole Bowman

30: New York City On February 22, 2012, Lance Palmateer and I traveled to New York City to celebrate our two year anniversary. Lance drove his 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34 to the Amtrak station in Poughkeepsie, New York. We became increasingly excited as the train arrived at the station. Lance and I sat on the dirty floor of the crowded train on the way to Pennsylvania Station in New York City. We carefully navigated through Pennsylvania Station to West 34th Street and entered “America’s Largest Department Store,” Macy’s. The antique wooden escalators, built in 1902, are a beautiful reminder of the history of Macy’s. We walked one block to the Manhattan Mall on West 33rd Street. The Manhattan Mall was crammed with tourists and consumers. We walked into Café R, a food court with various American and Korean foods. I ordered a half-pound bacon cheeseburger and greasy French fries. We exited Café R and began to walk fifteen blocks to Central Park. Lance and I sat on a wooden bench in the shade of an enormous Oak tree. Birds and squirrels scampered across the grass searching for food as a young man jogged in the brisk winter air. We walked on Fifth Avenue to the Upper West Side. I fell in love with an expensive 2012 Audi R8 5.2 in Audi Manhattan. Lance and I began to walk to the Empire State Building, located in the Garment District. He wandered into the Original Soupman for a refreshing Pomegranate Smoothie. We planned to visit the world-famous 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building...however, I became frightened by the height of the building. On our way to Times Square we discovered a two-story GameStop. Thousands of video games and consoles lined the walls of the store. Times Square is illuminated by hundreds of billboards and advertisements. Lance and I walked into Hershey’s, the Great American Chocolate Company on the corner of 48th Street and Broadway. We walked one block to M&M’s World featuring a two-story wall of assorted M&M’s and a seventeen foot tall Lady Liberty M&M. We scoured the streets of New York City for a cheap restaurant. Lance and I ordered two Vanilla Bean Frappuccinos at Starbucks. We walked several blocks to Pennsylvania Station and sat in the large waiting room. We boarded the train at 8:45 P.M. and began the one and a half hour ride to Poughkeepsie. I love the history, ambiance, and diversity of New York City. “New York is the perfect model of a city, not the model of a perfect city.” -- Lewis Mumford

31: New York City

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