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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #814174
Writer's Cramp entry 2/12/04
The New Prompt is:
Write a story based on this song lyric
Me and the boys from school had a _____ and we tried real hard. Jimmy quit and Jodi got married. (Bryan Adams, "Summer of '69")

There's Gold in Them There Hills!

“Hey Joe, you heard from Jodi lately?”

“Nope not in quite some time. Last I knew he left his wife and split for Alaska. Said he was going to start a guide service for fishing on one of the rivers up there. That had to be four maybe five years ago. Haven’t heard a thing since then. Why?”

“Well, his picture’s here in the paper. I don’t think the guide thing worked out. Says here he’s living in California and he just bought some small Internet company for six million. “

“Your kidding?”

“If that don’t beat all. He was the one that talked us out of that Internet thing back when we in college. Said there was no future in it. George, Tim, Jodi, Jimmy and I had a little ISP set up in the laundry room of our dorm and we could never get Jodi to do any work. The rest of us tried real hard to make a go of it. Eventually Jodi left school and got married. Jimmy just up and quit one day. Now Jodi owns an Internet company? Geez, I’ve heard it all now.”

“You guys actually had an ISP?” How come you never told me about it before?”

“I don’t know. That was a long time ago. Didn’t think it was important. Besides we ended up selling it to some guy down the hall. It was kinda fun though and it paid our dorm bill…most months. I remember we got this old Unix server from the college for ten dollars. It was the size of our refrigerator. I think they just wanted to see us move it. It weighed about as much as two linebackers. In the back of the laundry room was a small storage area so we hooked it up there. The university never noticed the extra power drain. When we sold it we had about a thousand customers. At least five hundred of them actually paid their bill. We charged five bucks a month for unlimited access. Of course modems were only 1200 baud at that time so you needed unlimited access just to send an email. What else does it say about Jodi?”

“It says he made his money in gold prospecting in Alaska. Says he found a little undiscovered stream while he was guiding some rich Oregon businessman and his wife and he went back several days later and panned it for gold. He eventually set up a company and moved back to California where the weather is better. He remarried and lives on the ocean. Whatever happened to the rest of your college friends?”

“George is in Toledo, Ohio. Remember? We get a Christmas card every year. He never married, but he’s got his own business. He makes sausage. He’s the Jimmy Dean of Toledo, The Kielbasa King. When he got out of school he tried working for one of the big food companies, I forget which one. He told me they couldn’t see eye-to-eye on vacation. George said that vacation was the best part of any job and he liked to take a lot of them. I’ll bet you since he started his own business he hasn’t taken one.”

“Tim went on to law school and is practicing somewhere out west. Got a letter from him last year that said he was making a killing in water rights. It said he was living on a ranch and that it was a hunter’s paradise. Don’t remember getting an invitation to visit during hunting season though. Tim was the one that got the linebackers to help us move the server when we bought it. He was also the one that did the most work on it. Funny thing him being a lawyer, we were always getting him out of trouble with the campus cops. I think he’s married and has kids. Hope they grow up to torment him they way he tormented his parents.”

“What do you mean?”

“All his parents ever wanted was what most parents want for their kids, a good education and for them to succeed. Getting either one of those, let alone both, from Tim was an uphill battle since the day he was born. He just wanted to have a good time.”

“I lost track of Jimmy after awhile. He just faded from sight. He was always the most reserved of all of us and I hated playing poker with him. You could never tell what he was thinking. I heard a rumor he joined the military for a few years and then got some government job. Just sort of disappeared after that. I think he still keeps in touch with Millie, Jodi’s ex. They were good friends in school. She works as a researcher for the FBI down in Washington.”

“And then there’s you.”

“Yep, me.”

“Any regrets about not staying in the ISP business?”

“Not really. It really wasn’t my style. I wanted to be a writer and that’s what I am. Can’t have any regrets when your dream comes true. Besides, if I had stayed with the ISP we probably would have never met. And you’re my second dream come true.”


“First in my heart. But the second one to come true in my life.”

“You’re so sweet. Whatever happened to the ISP?”

“I don’t really know. We sold it to some nerd of a freshman the following year. Got a hundred bucks for it. We really took him for a ride. I can’t remember his first name anymore. His last name I think was Gates…”

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