Like many people, I rediscovered lots of old friends I had lost touch with over the years. One of those folks was Beth Lash, who went to Clemson University and eventually moved back to Annapolis. Beth was in the Clemson Players, the student drama group on campus. Clemson now has a pretty serious drama program, with a real degree and everything, but when we went there, it was made up of kids that just really liked theater. It didn’t mean we weren’t good; we had a group (before us) that went to the Kennedy Center. We even did some shows with a guy named Mike Tyler, who you might remember as Gunther from Friends. Still, we were definitely not the type of group on campus that got noticed. I think we preferred it that way, to be honest. We seemed proud to be among the outcasts.
We were a proud snarky bunch and some of those memories are my very favorite. The condiment collection, killed when someone stepped on it and we had a funeral. The insane parties at Mark Charney’s, one that I left at 3 am, only to be told the next morning “Scary Greg showed up with a bag of drugs at 5 am.” (Honestly, we were mostly good kids, I promise.) The pitchers of beer drunk as a group through straws, which would lead to dancing on bars at Nick’s while Madonna played. (Wait that might be two separate incidents.) I remember going to a Jesus, Mary and Joseph party where you were to dress like your favorite Biblical character and finding a book with a new book cover: “The Bible. Drugs! Sex! Violence! On the bestseller list for 2,000 years!” Mostly, we were just a bunch of very irreverent kids. I had found my kind, even if I never appeared on stage. While I love Clemson, I’m not your typical Clemson kid, so I can’t explain how grateful I am to have found this group.
Beth was one of these irreverent ones and the year my parents were on sabbatical in Greenbelt, Maryland, we drove North together in my 1973 VW semiautomatic Bug. We didn’t make it to Spartanburg before Beth told me the story of her bug, which got a freak pocket of air under the hood, popping it up and smashing it against her windshield and cracking it. She was forced to drive between a semi and a huge barrier before she finally pulled over. I was a little quiet for a few miles after that. The rest of the trip, we sang as loudly as we could to the radio. A Pat Benetar song came on and Beth says, “oh this is completely unsingable” and then we sang it anyway. A fun trip, even when the carpet got stuck under the gas pedal and Beth was going “Your car is driving itself!”
Since Beth was one of my very favorite people at Clemson, I was happy to reconnect and also quite happy to repay her for a gift she gave me. One Christmas, quite unexpectedly, she gave me a pair of slippers. Or socks, I’m not sure what to call them. They were these knee-high socks with a faux-leather bottom on them and they were quite patterned. They were cool in an ugly, funky kind of a way and I had those things for YEARS, thinking of Beth when I wore them. So, when I was thinking about what I’d want to give Beth in the FB craft challenge, I knew what it had to be. So Beth, I give you a pair of socks! These are from Purlsoho and they are made out of Koigu Mori. These are fun socks to make, folks.
So fun to make, I made two pairs! I think of mine as the Donnie Osmond pair, which I told my daughter when she asked who that was, I said he was the Justin Bieber of his day. So Beth, you can wear yours and think of me and I have a pair that I will now think of you, again.