Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Party like its 1999

I was going through my old documents stored on my old computer (new computer story coming soon!) and guess what I came across... a Christmas letter written by Kenny to his friends and family in 1999. It made me smile. Since we are all friends and family here, I thought I'd share it...

Well, what a year 1999 was! I managed to keep incredibly busy. Let’s do a month by month replay of what I managed to squeeze into last year:

January – I started my second semester at Christian Heritage College (CHC) in San Diego, CA. I am a junior majoring in Aviation Flight Technologies (a pilot). I am taking 28 units this semester (12 being a full load). I have two jobs; I am the janitor for my dorm building and I am also an Admissions Counselor for my college. I am playing on two volleyball teams, a basketball team, and an indoor soccer team. I am also on a Precision Flight Competition Team. I meet a girl named Jennifer Aceves in my volleyball class – one of three girls who actually knew how to play volleyball out of the 20 other girls in the class. My normal schedule is get up at 6:00 am and go to bed between 2 or 3 am, if at all! My time is filled with classes, homework, flying, and having way too much fun, probably more fun than is allowed *.

February – I got my Private Pilot’s License on the 14th – yes Valentine’s Day, because I love to fly! I am still way too busy. Oh yeah, I am in the school play, “Cave Dwellers.”

March – I compete in the PCIFA Precision Flight Competition at Castle Air Force Base (now decommissioned). Our team had never competed in it before and with only a month and half’s worth of practice, we came in fourth place, placing in the top ten in every event in which we entered! We also won the Sportsmanship award and were elected Treasurer of the PCIFA (Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Flight Competition). On second Tuesday of this month, I talked to the aforementioned young lady for 2 or 3 hours after lunch. Hmmmm…she seems like the kinda girl I want to marry!?!? I also made several trips down to Mexico for tacos and cheap souvenirs. Plus, I have a friend whose folks live down in Rosarito, so we visited them a few times over the semester as well.

April – We do five performances of our masterpiece play. The semester is almost over with finals in the last week of the month. I get a job with AiRepair as an apprentice airplane mechanic at Gillespie Airport, the same airport out of which I fly. I also stayed up for over 90 hours (that’s four days) without sleep watching the amazing meteor showers that we had every night. I saw on one night over 100 meteors in one hour!

May – School is finally out! I managed to pull off 28 units with a straight A average. I am now working at AiRepair full time for the summer and living in an apartment here in San Diego with two good friends, Chris Jacobson and Chadd Mertz. I will spend my summer working, flying, and having as much fun as possible. I also meet a guy who will become one of my best friends, Dustin Radford. Dustin lives on a boat in San Diego Bay and works with me at AiRepair. He went to CHC two years ago. Oh yeah, remember Jen? She is staying here in San Diego for the summer too. She is an intern for the church’s high school group, so she will be going on all their summer mission trips. She is staying in the dorms, so she has no way to cook for herself. I think I will invite her over to my apartment so she can be able to eat! *

June – What a crazy month! I worked 60+ hours a week at AiRepair. I love it! I also see a lot of that Jen girl. People keep teasing me that I should date her or marry her. Come on now, we’re just friends right? We spend all our free time together. We also almost got her car towed for parking in the wrong spot…a story to be told at a later time. I even drove to her house one weekend with my roommate and we (the three of us and Jen’s sister Jamie) all went to Magic Mountain. We watch movies, eat dinner, stay out, fly around, goof off together, but hey, we’re just really good friends! I also got to go sailing with Dustin on his boat. He, along with Jen, accompanied me on my many adventures this summer! I also spent much time with another guy and good friend, Sam Meier, also a pilot. Together, he and I flew all over CA, NV, AR and NM. We flew to Havasue, Phoenix, Catalina, Palmdale (that’s were Jen lives), and a dozen other places. My roommate Chris’s mom moves into the apartment with us, no complaints here since she is paying the rent.

July – Jen and I start dating on July 1. Yeah, so we said we were “just friends,” now we’re dating, so back off *. Sam, his fiancĂ© and I fly from San Diego all the up to Salem, OR in a Cessna 172. I took us ten hours one way, making a stop in Galt on the ways up and back. First time mom and dad got to see my fly a plane.

August – Cannot stand living in the apartment any longer. Move out one Thursday afternoon, unfortunately had nowhere to go, so I lived in my car for two weeks! Even slept in a cemetery a couple of nights. Hey it was nice and quite and there was always a cool breeze coming off the grass. What more could one ask for? Still working full time plus at AiRepair, flying around, and still having too much fun.

September – I start my senior year of college. I cut back to only 24 units this semester – still two full loads worth. I got an apartment, so no more car living. I am taking Bible classes, aviation classes, and Greek. I am working part time at AiRepair. Still dating Jen. I am the captain of the Flight Team for this year. I am on student senate. I am also on staff with the high school ministry group at my church, yes, along with Jen. In this ministry, I coach a student-led Bible study and Jen and I and another guy are organizing a mission trip to Romania this upcoming spring break.

October – Myself and four other pilots flew three airplanes across Arizona and New Mexico into Texas, landing only 12 miles shy of the Oklahoma border. We made it there and back in three days! That’s over 2000 miles. I also got my motorcycle stolen and then harassed by the cops about it. The cops thought me and several other CHC students had formed a motorcycle gang and were stealing other motorcycles. Yeah, Kenny the hardened criminal. I am still too busy to breath.

November – On the 15th, I asked Jen to marry me, and she actually said yes. I don’t remember anything else about this month. As for the wedding, look for an invitation to follow in the next few months, but the date is going to be June 23, 2000 at Hume Lake, California, about an hour east of Fresno in the mountains.

December – I completed my next to last semester of college, with straight A’s. For Christmas break, I took advantage of being a pilot and flew from San Diego to Palmdale to Galt to Palmdale to Galt to Palmdale to San Diego. Over 40 hours of driving condensed into 13 hours of flying.

January – I am in my last semester of college, yeah!!! Only 12 units, yeah!!! Nine of the units are go fly the airplane and I have only one classroom class, yeah!!! I went to Hawaii, yeah!!! The plans for the Romania trip are in full swing – we will be going April 12-22. Jen, Chris Guess, and myself will be leading 30-40 students with 10-12 staff. I am also building a small “honeymoon cottage” as my parents call it. It is a small granny flat on top of our youth pastor’s garage who is building he and his wife’s dream home. Jen and I designed the floor plan and have done most of the work on it ourselves. It should be done by this summer when we get married.

Well, that was 1999, and part of 2000. If you have any questions feel free to write, call, email, come visit me.

Kenny Shepherd


Danny and Tonita said...

WOW! Kenny sounds like a crazy busy person...isn't it funny to think how busy we were back then? I mean to find time to go to class, do homework, work other fun stuff and still date? Oh the crazy days @ CHC! :)

Jim & Jolene said...

I had so much fun reading Kenny's letter!
So much happening, yet so much changing.
What a treat to have your courtship remembered in such a "Kenny" way :)
Love you both !

blakeandallison said...

Kenny led a pretty crazy life! I didn't realize that you didn't "date" that long.

Matthew, Kelly, and Eli said...

Kenny's letter brings back fun memories of CHC life. I still remember hanging out with Matt, Kenny, and Dustin over at the "apartment" in Crest. They were always entertaining!

Terry said...

I sure enjoyed your 1999 journal. Kenny, you never told us you performed in "Cave Dwellers". I remember you were always talking about your "friend". Moms know!