It was the summer before my final semester of college, and I was working on-campus, taking classes, and living in the rear section of a house that had been converted to three apartments. (That would be my longest stint of solo apartment living, outside of summer rentals; after my one-year lease was up, Aaron and I moved in together.)
Aaron and I had been engaged for almost four months; Kris and Kathy were engaged but not yet married. The other Kris may have been between SO’s at the time.
The five of us met up early at our favorite fireworks spot: on the east side of Kreischer Quad, facing the intramural fields and the stadium where the fireworks display was held. I don’t remember if we all parked there in the adjacent parking lot, or if we parked in the dirt lot on the west side of campus and walked, so we’d avoid the ridiculous traffic after the fact.
I brought my trusty Minolta X370s with tripod — and cable release, I believe — to attempt some fireworks photos. It was a manual focus camera, so it was hard to be stealthy with my candid portraits, but I don’t recall anyone really complaining about me taking pictures. That’s just how I was (and still am).
The weather was fantastic, and the clouds were as awesome as I’ve ever seen them.
I have no recollection of what we talked about for a couple of hours while we waited for sunset. Music, probably. Frank Black and the Catholics had released Dog in the Sand that January, the Afghan Whigs disbanded in February, Clutch released Pure Rock Fury in March… There was plenty of music action going on back then, but according to my ticket stub collection, we didn’t even go to any concerts that summer.
I hadn’t started blogging yet, I didn’t write about the evening in my offline journal (yes, I have it archived on CD-ROM), and I only really journaled longhand when I was feeling depressed or overwhelmed, so these pictures are the only record of that night. After over a decade of blogging, and longhand journaling before that, it seems odd not to have a written account to look back on — even though that’s normal for most people.
Finally, once the sun set, we watched the fireworks display.
Then we went home. July 4th was on a Wednesday that year, so I probably didn’t spend the night at Aaron’s apartment like I would have on a Friday or a Saturday or a long weekend.
It feels like not so long ago — but, then, it also feels like a lifetime ago.