FC: "Don't count the years...count the memories." | 2012 | 50
1: Happy Birthday!
4: Stone Castle Motel Labor Day weekend, 2001 Traveling from State College to the Poconos, it was late, we were tired and there was no room in any proverbial inn along the way. Finally, an EconoLodge clerk directed us to the Stone Castle Motel, which bore eerie similarities to Bates Motel from the movie Psycho. After paying our $39.75, cash only, we entered our room and you theatrically stumbled across the threshold (thank you, Alfred Hitchcock). I shut the door, pulled the chain and put a chair in front of the door. “A lot of good that’ll do,” you teased. “The chair is on rollers.” But it made me feel better. The bathroom was questionable at best and when I dropped my toothbrush on the floor, I looked at you and said, “Guess we’re sharing!” We spent a relatively sleepless night on flat pillows and a lumpy mattress, feeling the door and windows get sucked in and out with the pressure of each tractor trailer driving by.
5: We welcomed the morning by learning the shower offered either boiling or freezing water and ran at the speed of mist. We then discovered the AC had leaked on our luggage overnight. What could we do but laugh? The moral of the story: Always make hotel reservations and always, always travel with someone who will laugh with you! | --Elizabeth
6: My favorite memory of my dad is from my senior year of college. I was being recognized for my Senior Writing Portfolio and had been asked to present a piece to my department. Friends and family are invited and I was a little sad that my family was so far away. Right before the program started, I got a call from my dad. He had spent the day stranded in airports and on and off the phone with the secretary of our department trying to make it all the way from Pennsylvania to Indiana to hear me present. That effort is one of the most amazing gifts I've ever received. | I remember Dad as an usher at church. I remember waiting by the door to the office, wishing he would JUST FINISH UP counting the week's offering so we could go home. -- Laura | There was one morning on vacation in Cape May when Dad and I went out for bagels together, just the two of us. | Playing Dutch Blitz! And other family games on Ridgeview Drive.
7: This is also one of my favorite memories!
9: All the trips to the cabin. Definitely when we ran out of gas in the boat and it was getting dark so no one was around. | When we were on a walk at our old house on mountain road and we saw a huge snake and dad cut its head off with a shovel. Rough housing | When I rolled into all the briars when we bought the cabin, and dad climbed and got me out and pulled all the jaggers out of me. Dad making me get to all my jobs at least 15 minutes early -- Nate
10: Washington D.C. trip to the art museum | Side Walk Chalk at Selah when he came to visit. It was a big breakthrough in our relationship that weekend.. | NYC for Beauty & the Beast on Broadway for my 16th birthday.
11: Lime Green Bedroom Shadow Soccer Games Computer and T.V. Time Limits All the memories at the cabin that I can't begin to count... searching through the woods, bonfires, boating. -- Jenna
12: Parents' Memories Through The Years...
17: Little Brother: It was a Friday evening in the Fall and there was a home football game. I had made plans to attend with my school friends. Mom and Dad had plans for the evening, however Brian was too young to stay home by himself or go to the game with just his friends. I was assigned the task of watching my brother for the evening and so he had to come along with my friends. Neither of us was any too happy with these arrangements, however we did go to the game at Memorial Park in Mechanicsburg. I told Brian he had to stick with me, but as soon as we arrived, Brian spied friends and wandered off to be with them. Now one of my friends, Gordon, was a rather large guy (both height and size) and I enlisted his help. He found Brian and immediately picked him up several feet off the ground and said “Little Brother, aren't you supposed to be with your sister?” Brian did not know who this was – his feet were dangling off the ground and his eyes as big as saucers! Brian saw the light and stayed with us for the rest of the evening. -- Denni
18: The REAL Christmas Tree Story: This story has many variations as it has been discussed over the years, and has been retold many times within the family – and now has even migrated outside the family. Just to set the record straight, here is what REALLY happened, no matter what Brian indicates. We lived in our Windsor Park home, so Brian and I were both somewhere in early elementary school ages. Our home was a ranch house with the lower level finished into a family room. This was where we put up our Christmas tree each year. We did this on a Saturday afternoon as a family. | By the time the tree was decorated, it was time for supper. Mom and Dad went upstairs to make dinner and told us to be careful around the tree.
19: The tree was unplugged and Brian and I decided it would be nice to have the lights on. So.BRIAN crawled under the tree to plug in the lights. As he was backing out, he stood up a little too early resulting in the upset Christmas tree, complete with a number of broken ornaments. Of course, the commotion brought Mom and Dad downstairs in a hurry, very upset with both of us! Now here is where the story begins to differ – I explained the story as it happened above, however Brian tends to remember it the opposite and said I knocked over the Christmas tree. Since Mom and Dad could not prove who did the deed, Brian and I both went straight to bed without any supper. That last part is the most traumatic! Now you know the REAL story! -- Denni
21: One of the lasting memories I have is going to Mimi & Papa’s house (our grandparents) and running downstairs to see the notes left by Denni & Brian. In the basement of their house, there was a chalkboard, and for as long as I can remember, each time either of us visited, we would leave notes for the other. While it was fun to see and visit with the grandparents, it was great fun to see what note the cousins had left!
24: I admire his patience at all times, even when a friend messes up his Mustang bumper. --Mike Brennemen | You called from Arizona. “I don't think I’m in trouble,” you said, and proceeded to explain that you'd bought a Mustang in New Jersey on eBay while in Arizona. I knew the minute you started it that we would be taking it home. Love, Your Mustang Girl
26: Rick and Natalie’s Top 10 List of Reasons we can’t believe Brian is 50 # 10 Didn’t we just celebrate his 40th birthday?! #9 Wasn’t it just a few years ago that he was the ring leader of a gang of kids putting tacky holiday decorations in his neighbor’s yard? #8 We’ve heard it said that pranksters are usually much younger than 50 years old! #7 From what we’ve heard on infomercials, “seniors” don’t buy motorized watercraft because Medicare pays for them to have motorized scooters! #6 50 year olds don’t decide where to live just because the town smells like chocolate! #5 50 year olds also don’t decide where to live just because the town has an amusement park! #4 He’s not that crotchety, and not that creaky! #3 Cooper and Shelby told us he’s actually going to be 350! (with all due respect, they told us in confidence) #2 50 year olds don’t have a hot wife AND a hot car! And the # 1 reason we love Brian Walker is No matter how old he is, he is still as fun loving and a stand up guy as when we first met!
27: The best memory I have is his good friendship. Brian and I have shared some good ‘belly’ laughs over the years about many topics (sometimes so hard it drove us to tears from laughing). And although I can’t be specific (I’m 50, too!), knowing we’ve had some good conversation lasts a lifetime, and we’ve had some good conversation! -- Jeff Feister
28: Brian, When Elizabeth first contacted me about putting together a memory book for you I started to think about what I could possibly contribute. As one who always enjoys these types of things but not a natural writer of them I started thinking about what I could safely contribute. All I can say is. what a trip down memory lane for me! So many wonderful memories, so many good times. Then I remembered this: Every New Year ’s Eve our church did a big program for all the Youth Groups. We got together for bowling, then later back to the church for games and movies which back then meant using a good old fashioned projector. What fun! As children this was always a great time but as we got into our high school years it became a big deal to invite a date for the night. So Brian started talking about this one girl he had been interested in asking out for quite some time. I thought it was quite obvious that she liked him too but despite my and others pushing he would not ask her out. But as New Year’s Eve came closer we pushed him that the annual event would be the perfect opportunity for a first date. After all it was a perfect setup being that she was also a member of the church and would be attending anyway. Easy! Finally after much poking and prodding Brian did ask her out and as was no surprise to us, she accepted. As we got closer to that first night I knew Brian was looking forward to finally getting to have his first date with her. This was a big deal. On New Year’s Eve I arrived at the church. As usual everyone was excited; the church hall was abuzz with the youth of all ages anxious for the evening’s activities to get underway. I looked about for Brian and our other friends. I immediately saw Vance and several others but no sign of Brian. At this point I assumed he was just running a bit late and went about finding my date for the evening. Not surprisingly I got distracted with people and conversation for a while but as the time neared for the first planned activity of the night to begin I became aware that there was still no Brian. I looked around and saw Brian’s date to be. but no Brian. I started asking questions of people; alas no one knew where Brian was. Now I was perplexed, where could he be? This date was such a big deal to him (remember we were teenagers). Even without a date the New Year’s Eve gathering was always something we all looked forward to. Surely Brian would not miss this! Now genuinely concerned I located one of the Counselors who had just found out the news on Brian. The Counselor then explained that he was taken to the Hospital as he had been eating fish and got a fishbone stuck in his throat! What? The good news was that he was fine but the bad news was that Brian would not be able to attend that evening! To this day I frequently recall this when I’m eating fish! Eventually he did go on to have that first date with that girl but that New Year’s night was not the same without him.
31: As I stated in the beginning there were and are so many wonderful memories. Brian and I met when I moved to Mechanicsburg in the middle of my 5th grade year. We met at church and over time became the closest of friends. We grew up together from children to young adults. We became inseparable over time. In the summers we rode bikes everywhere together visiting friends and just hanging out. Eventually we moved to cars which presented their own unique set of perils and rewards. At the moment I am reminded of riding in Vance’s station wagon and stopping at a rail crossing to “listen” if a train was coming but that’s another story.. Speaking about cars we certainly went through some of your cars.the brown Comet, the green Camaro. Band, Band Camp, Choir, Glee Club, Show Choir, Jazz Band, Church, Retreats, Football games, Krislund week, cars; we did it all together. Our summer in Europe together with the ambassadors of music is for me still a life highlight. Brian, when I look back I can’t possibly describe how much those memories mean to me. They were wonderful times and they were so mostly because of your friendship. I do and will always value and treasure them deeply. Early on in many ways you brought me out of my shell. We grew in life and loves. While we certainly got into plenty of mischief we always stayed out of any serious trouble. I know for me I think we provided a balance for one another (I was always the shy one). While we don’t see or talk to one other often with our geographically removed lives and busy schedules it’s funny that when we do get together it’s almost as if no time has passed, still at an ease with one another in a way that eludes so many friendships which are really nothing more than mere acquaintances. And now here we are with you turning 50! So hard to actually imagine, let alone accept. Of course I have to accept it since I’m not that far behind.. Enjoy your day and know that you are in my thoughts. Happy Birthday my Dear Friend and God Bless. Warren Feb, 2012