I only lived in the tiny town of Cross Lanes, West Virginia for a little less than two years. While there, I attended 7th & 8th grade at Andrew Jackson Junior High. I loved living in Cross Lanes despite, or maybe because of, the tiny size of the place. I could tell you the name of every kid in my grade, and maybe even every kid in the school.
When Cross Lanes didn't have what I needed, I would take the public transportation bus into the thriving metropolis / state's capital city of Charleston to go to the mall with my BFF, Angie Hindle. I liked the historic buildings in Charleston. There was a cool, huge library in the city that smelled bookish. There was a movie theater downtown where I spent many weekends.
When I think about it, Austin is kind of like Charleston: abundant in natural beauty with a river through the center, a small-ish city that serves as the state capital, with a quirky and friendly populace, and a good arts scene with a low barrier to entry. Maybe I liked Austin so much when I moved here for college because it reminded me of the super-happy times I had in Charleston.
In 8th grade, a beautiful, exotic-looking boy caught my eye at school. He was a year older than me. The rumor was that he had been expelled from Charleston Catholic School, which gave him a dangerous allure. He had the perfect skater-boy hair and the skateboard to go with it. His name was Virgil Sadorra. Virgil and I had an on-again / off-again flirtation over the years (yes, even after I moved away to the very different town of Plano, Texas) that never amounted to anything. The last time we spoke was the summer before my sophomore year at the University of Texas. He was about to go to culinary school, having discovered a great affinity for cooking. He sent me a little troll doll in a chef's jacket, which was just the cutest gesture. He even talked about driving down to Austin to visit me, but he wanted to stay in my dorm room with me, and that was just way too scandalous to consider, so the visit never happened.
Friday Virgil's name came up when I was asked about old crushes. I googled him today. He owns three (!) hot restaurants in Charleston now: Cilantros - a tex-mex place, Delish - popular lunch spot and Vandalia Lounge - yum, mojitos. I grabbed this photo of Virgil with his son from Charleston photographer, Rick Lee's, blog. Awwww, so cute!
I'm really happy for Virgil. He did good. I'm also really happy with my life in Austin and really happy to have my sweet husband, Chad. Chad and I joke that we wouldn't have liked each other if we met back in grade school, so the timing was good that we met at college.