The Happiest Hippies

How we met:

Jennifer and I met in 1996. She was a junior in high school and I was just about to graduate. Her and her best friend (Crystal Kelley) were at a graduation party ~2 weeks before school let out. I was tipped by her friend that she had liked me and I couldn't believe it. She was a basketball / volleyball star. I was a band nerd. My parents had hosted exchange students all through high school and Jennifer and Crystal were very good friends with the exchange students that we were hosting at that time. I had always remembered Volli and Yiorgos talk about "Crystal and Jen", but never really gave it much thought. Apparently a few weeks before the party, Jen and Crystal were over at my house hanging out with the exchange students in the basement and I stopped in for a quick minute to pick something up. I ran down the basement to tell Yiorgos something and they were all down there hanging out. I introduced myself and they introduced themselves and that was that. When I had returned later that night Volli was picking on me because this one girl, Jen, thought I was 'cute'. (c'mon it was high school, bear with me). Low and behold they were at the graduation party a few weeks later and that is when Crystal tipped me...

Crazy in love:

That is all I needed to hear, we automatically started hanging out and getting to know one another. The more I hung out with her, the more I liked her. Both of our parents were a little apprehensive of the other; her parents knew very little about me and my parents knew very little about her. We were always getting in trouble because we just wanted to be together all the time. Unfortunately, our parents wanted us to have a 'curfew'. We were young and crazy about each other. My mom and dad were not very strict with me as long as I did what I had to do (wake up and go to work, yada yada yada). I can't remember how many times Jennifer's mom would call me at 2am wanting to know where her daughter was... she was with me. :) Here is the situation: Jennifer got off of work at 10pm and her curfew was 11pm. That was only 30 minutes together a day, and at that age it simply wasn't enough. We had to make our own rules to be together, no matter who got in trouble. At the time Jennifer lived ~15 - 20 miles away, so she still had some driving time to consider. See at the time, Jennifer worked at a dairy stop and I worked at Polaris Amphitheater. It was very hard to find time to be together since we both worked different hours, but we managed to find time late-late at night when we thought our parents would be sleeping. Boy were we wrong...

 Luc goes to College:

The situation was about to get a lot harder. Jen and I dated for about 3 months until I was about to go to Bowling Green State University for my freshman year of college. Jennifer still had to finish out her senior year, then she vowed that she would meet me up there that next year and we were going to be together for good. Unfortunately we would have to rough out the 'long distance relationship' before we could be together at BG. I remember the only thing that I thought about for the first couple of months what she was doing and all that puppy love crap. She would come and visit me from time to time and I would come home to visit her from time to time as well. Of course we would get together for the holidays when I would come home and break all the curfew laws, but other than that it was phones and letters. The whole time she was finishing out her high school year, I was struggling at school because I just didn't treat it like I should have. My grades had slipped pretty bad that year and I was not able to come back. It was time to come home and "get it together" at the local community college where I would pay my own way. Best mistake of my life!

 Summer of 97 (our "Summer of Love"):

 That next summer (1997) was so much fun. Jennifer and I broke every rule we could think of that summer. We had no remorse for any of our actions nor did we have any respect for our parents demands. We would stay out until 4am in the morning when we had to get ready for work, and be together every possible moment. We were truly in love with each other and crazy about one another. I don't know how many times her and I would get in trouble doing something we weren't supposed to be doing either by one of our parent or the Newark Police department. :D (all in good fun) I was 19 and she was still 17 through half of the summer. She only turned 18 that July. This was the summer that I will never forget for the rest of my life. At this point we had known each other long enough to respect one another as a person and not just a "party buddy". We took trips together to go see Yiorgos in Washington DC and we literally did everything as a couple. This summer I worked for Jim Murphy's Tree Service and Jennifer worked for Damon's Restaurant.

 Jen goes to College:

 In a couple of months college would be starting, but this time the table had turned. Jennifer had kept her promise and she was going to Bowling Green in a couple of months. I on the other hand was going to be staying home this year (my freshman year was a "life" learning experience). I was not going back to Bowling Green, rather I had to stay at home and go to Columbus State Community College. At this point my parents would not help me with school, I had to pay for it myself. Needless-to-say, I was more concerned about Jennifer being so far away. This time, I was going to be the one going up and visit her from time to time and she would come home on the holidays to see me. We still did the letters and phone calls as well. I will always keep these letters and they will be with me forever. I think that our relationship might have gotten stronger only because we weren't together and had to 'rough out the hard times'. The next time we had to really be together was when she got back from Bowling Green and we could both go to local colleges and hopefully live together.

 Together at last:

That is exactly what happened. Jennifer was done with college and she was coming home for good. Even though she would be turning 19 this year, she still lived under her moms roof and had to obey her moms rules. That's it!.. we decided we need to find a place to live. Jennifer found a place nestled back in a bunch of alleys that was perfect for us. It was not an apartment, rather an old 2 car garage that was renovated to make for a nice little rent-a-house. We payed $325 a month for the place and we were able to throw our own parties here. Our house consisted of a front door, a hall way, a staircase, and another hall way that we called the kitchen. This was the smallest house ever built and we owned it. Jennifer and I both worked and we both went to school. We found that we could still find time to be with our friends all night and still 'get shit done'. I think we averaged about 20 hours of sleep a week, but we were having fun and crazy-in-love with one another. I was working 2 jobs and going to school and Jennifer had found a new job at Texas Roadhouse and was also going to school. Yeah, it was hard to keep all this stuff in tact and still party, but we managed.

 Pets and Responsibilities:

At last, there were no more separations between us; I was hers for good and (most importantly) she was mine. We lived in that little house for 2 years. It was time for us to see how we could care for something other than ourselves. We got a cat from one of my friends and we named him Tootsie. It wasn't long after we had Tootsie that we decided he needed a friend; a second cat named Furby. Over the years, Jennifer showed me that she had quite the green thumb and our little house became an indoor jungle. We had ~20 plants in this house covering every window nestled in every corner and hogging up the back porch. She was always bringing home a new plant to save and we ended up with a small little jungle at the top of a hill in Newark, Ohio. After we lived here for some time, Jennifer and I decided that it was time to move out to the country. She grew up in the country, whereas I grew up in a neighborhood in the city. We were making enough money between our 3 jobs that we could afford a little bit more a month. We decided to move.