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We had been looking to an afternoon by the pool with Dr. Carter and AJ Hunter for almost a week and the weather cooperated slightly. Dr. Carter is the director of the Ball State Singers and is just a truly remarkable spirit. My boys officially met AJ Hunter, one of the Singers, this afternoon, but AJ has been a household favorite since April. We attended Spectacular 2005 @ Emens Auditorium on Ball State’s campus and as we entered, there were various lamenated stars on the sidewalk, each containing the name of a Singer. As we left Emens, there were two stars remaining – one belonging to a Matt, and the other AJ. My son, Matt, picked up the one belonging to Matt, and Jose, whose initials are JA, picked up AJ’s.


AJ Hunter – Ball State University Singers

Within a few weeks, AJ and I had become correspondents and AIMer’s. He took the time to write a thank you note to my sons – which I dearly appreciated a college student doing. Since then, he has achieved “star status” in our home and to the boys he was one of those heroes I had when I sat in the audience as a child watching the BSU Singers. The more we get to know one another, the more we find we have in common or so many things which are nearly identical – all twenty years apart. AJ is an outstanding young man and unlike so many his age, he understands what it means to be a performer – it goes way beyond the bow!

I attended a cookout at Jan & Rod Richard’s the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend and Dr. Carter, AJ and Corby York (a former drum-major, current BSU Singer from my hometown). When I mentioned my boys were disappointed they could not see AJ, Dr. Carter said, “AJ, we’re going to Dayton one weekend this summer to see Matt and Jose.” I was so touched that he would say that – and then follow through. We selected this weekend, but with AJ’s work schedule and the Air Show here in Dayton, it was going to be logistically difficult. So, I chose that weekend as our weekend back home and Dr. Carter immediately set into action a wonderful afternoon and evening. Despite the weather, it was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable days I have had in so long.


Dr. Jeffrey Carter, Ball State University

FRIDAY
We arrived in Indiana around 9am and I went to work at the Madison County records office attempting to retrieve family records. While there I met a Mr. Brizendine whose son works with Mother at the Elwood Police Department. The strange thing is Mother and I had only been discussing the Brizendine family an hour or so before. A worker in the records’ department over heard some of the conversation and discovered his father worked with my uncle, Danny Barmes. Afterwards, I spoke on the telephone with my grandmother’s sister, Aunt Joyce, about a particular cemetery where my third great-grandfather is buried. She thought she had given me the wrong directions and drove out to take down names and dates – however, she joined us. It was so good to see her.

My sister and I took the four boys out to Mr. Happy Burger in Elwood. If you have never been there – go! The hamburger joint was opened in 1964, and is currently operate by a classmate whose parents opened it. Great food!!! That night Mother, Dena, all the boys and I went to Muncie for a Chinese dinner. After Mother went to bed I began working on completing a huge chunk of editing and at 3:00am I was finished. Now SATURDAYI slept from 3:30-7:30am, and then hurried off to my sister’s for breakfast with my great aunt and uncle, Norma & Jack.

Mother and I ran out to the cemetery to check on Grandpa’s military marker and then the boys and I left for Muncie. Sunshine trailed behind us as we left Elwood, but we seemed to join the rain en route.

Dr. Carter lives where some college friends lived and it was neat to go back to the complex. The first thing I noticed was his huge book case with tons of books – several of which I have in my own collection. We sat and talked for several hours, waiting for the sun to reappear – and when we did go to the pool at one shiny break – the pool was closed. We decided on a movie and headed to see War Of The Worlds. It was awesome. Before the show began, Jose and AJ asked to sit together! It was a hoot!

After the movie we ate dinner – wow! A Mexican dish Dr. Carter’s mother had written down for him – and one we will be adding to our list here at home. The pool was open and we sat by the pool while Jose swam. Aj and Matt joined Jose at the pool’s edge and Dr. Carter and sat and chatted while laughing at Jose’s antics. The highlight for the boys was when AJ gave them two of his old Singers’ hoodies!

We finished off the evening with desert and Act One of this year’s Spectacular. What a wonderful evening it was. It was just what I needed and I feel so refreshed, ready to dig back into work again. As I was driving back to Elwood I realized the boys had falled asleep. I looked in the back and Jose, wearing his new BSU Singers’ hoodie (with the hood up), was curled in the corner. He had spent the day with AJ and was now wearing AJ’s hoodie – life is good!

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