Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In The Orchard

Twenty years ago on August 24 I had a night that was very significant and memorable for me. School had just started two days earlier for my Senior year. The 24th was on a Friday that year, and to back up a little earlier that day I recall that after school I had gone home and my dad was there. He cooked us some food and we ate it as we listened to Paul Harvey. I remember that we talked and it was just a time that was relaxing and we connected well. There was a little bit of a feeling of anticipation for that night and the weekend. I then remember going to my room and listening to some music before I went skateboarding up around the Payson park. While I was skateboarding that afternoon it was hot and the sweat was just dripping off of me, but I just enjoyed pushing myself and feeling alive from it.
The band had to play at the football game that night, but we just played as a pep band and didn't have to march during half-time. We also got to just wear regular clothes that night and not our band uniforms. After the game, which I am sure Payson lost that year, I remember that myself, Kyle, Kate, and Julie all went to hang out by taking a ride in our old Bronco II. It seems that I got to drive it on that particular night instead of my old green Chevette for some reason. We took the back-roads out towards Julie's Mom's house, and I remember listening to the Boingo Alive tape while driving with the windows down that night. I believe that Julie then had us drive into the orchard a little south of her mom's house while we were out that way.
We drove in a bit and then parked, so that we could get out and walk around a little. One reason that night was so memorable was that I remember it being such a perfect late summer night. It was still warm, but it felt refreshingly cool in the orchard under the trees. You could hear the hum of vehicles traveling on the freeway in the distance. The stars were out and it was a clear peaceful night. Kyle and Kate decided to sit down under the canopy of trees and talk. I felt so alive that night that I more felt like walking around. Me and Julie then walked a little to the north down a dirt road there, and we came to one of the tall white fans standing in the orchard that they use to circulate the air on cold nights. I decided to climb it because it had ladder rungs along the side of it. I recall that Julie was a bit nervous while I was doing it, but I climbed clear to the top. It put me clear up above the trees where I could look around and even see the freeway and other things off in the distance. It seemed like it even swayed a little while I was up there. I didn't stay up there too long, but long enough to look around a bit. It probably was a little crazy to do it, but at that time in my life I felt fearless and truly alive. When I climbed back down Julie was more relieved, and then we just walked around the orchard a bit and talked.
When we got back to where Kyle and Kate were we all got back into our Bronco II and headed out. It seems possible that we may have stopped my Julie's place so that she could get some stuff because she could have been staying and Kate's house that night. We then took the back-roads again back towards the Anderson's house. I believe it was on this same night that as we were still out west of the freeway, but heading east on Utah Avenue toward Payson, we passed by an old barn that was on fire. This obviously caught our attention so I remember stopping to see if everybody was alright, and they were just going to let it burn. We then headed out again toward Kate's house, of course driving with the windows down at least a little so that we could enjoy the late summer air. Around this time I remember we were talking about the movie Highlander, and I was impressed that Julie was a big fan of it. We then made it to Kate's, and I think that we just dropped Kate and Julie off at this point.
That night has always really stood out to me since then because it was just such a great night. With the setting of it I have often looked back in my mind picturing how truly alive I felt that night, and the memory of it has served at various times to remind me of what it means to really be that way. Strangely enough there were a couple songs that came out years later that really seem to sum up that night. The first one was actually called "In The Orchard" by the band Tiger Army. It is almost amazingly descriptive of that night in some ways. The other one was by The Cure from their 2004 album. For me both songs really seem to be descriptive of that night and the way I felt, even though they are not exactly from the standpoint I have for my memories of that night.