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Remembering Virginia Tech

John on April 19, 2007 at 12:52 am

I graduated Tech in ’90 so there’s a sense in which my connections to Tech are just memories. Nevertheless, some of those memories are powerful:

  • Carol Lee donuts on Main St.
  • The record shop around the corner where I spent many hours.
  • Mish Mish, the art supply store where my friends worked.
  • Macados, my favorite sandwich place, home of the Dietrich’s Delight.
  • Washington St. where I received about a dozen parking tickets when I lived first in Pritchard and later in Lee hall.
  • The Home Place! If you’ve never lived in Blacksburg you have sadly missed out on the best family style restaurant in the known universe! I kid you not. When I think of good times at Tech I think of meals with friends at the Home Place.
  • I learned to ride a motorcycle on Price’s Fork Road.
  • I took guitar lessons at Morrell music (still around?).
  • I was in a car accident on South Main St. (not my fault).
  • I was a cook at Backstreet’s Pizza.
  • My band played all of the off campus clubs (South Main Cafe, etc.) and several of the frat houses.
  • Before I became a Christian I roomed with guys who had their own private forests in their closets, if you know what I’m saying. One of my roommates liked to pour grain alcohol on his hand and light it. It was pretty cool.
  • After I became a Christian, BCF was my church and I worked at the Christian bookstore which was a converted garage that originally held one car.
  • I fell in love a few times.
  • I was dumped a few times.
  • Junior year I spent a summer working construction in Blacksburg. I lifted quite a few of the bricks that make up the Tech Student Center. We lifted them 11 at a time, so I’m sure I lifted 1000 of them myself.
  • I met my wife (we’ve been married 15 years).

I spent five years in school and one year waiting for my wife to graduate. Even today it’s a big chunk of my adult life. This week has brought back a lot of that, but it has also clouded some of it.

The 4th floor of West AJ is where my wife lived when we were dating. Now it’s the place where the worst shooting spree in American history began as well. My wife’s a civil engineer and had several classes in Norris hall. Yesterday, she realized one of her professors was killed in the attack. Even at this remove of decades and miles, we feel the loss.

Those poor kids.

This should have been one of the best times of their long and productive lives, something they could look back on with a bit of joy, a hint of chagrin, and plenty of nostalgia. Good times remembered; bad ones mostly forgotten, because that’s what happens as you get older. At least that’s what should have happened.

I can’t begin to imagine the suffering of the parents who are living my own worst nightmare. We’re praying for you.

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Photo by icki

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