Love a Good Story

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here is another Good Story.

Hello, I’m Taylor Maddox, or Fr. Maddox or Rev. Maddox. I would prefer Fr. or Rev. , but for my family, I’m Taylor. Hamilton and I appear in The Attractiveness of Wisdom, Judy’s latest novel. We are brothers and the sons of George and Mary Maddox. You’ve already met my father, George and found out about his vineyard and you’ve met, my mother, Mary. Now it’s my turn. I’m not in Hamilton’s story as much as I was. Judy deleted my biggest role saying that even though it was a nice scene, it served no purpose in the story. She explained to me about novels and that things in a novel must serve a purpose. I took it a little hard at first, that I served no purpose. But, I wanted her to write a good story, one that people would love, so I understood.

Hamilton was two years younger, but we have always been best friends. It was hard, at first, because Ham was still in middle school, my first year in high school. During my high school years, I seemed to have a lot of energy that I needed to release. I was always doing things that would get me in trouble. But they all had to do with one thing, or rather one person-Gwen Newman. This was before I met my wife, Alice. Alice and I met in college. But Gwen was all I could think about. I loved Gwen Newman and I strongly believed she loved me. From the time we met in 10th grade, we were always together. I have to say I missed Ham a lot when I was with Gwen. I thought Gwen and I could have some kind of future together, though I didn’t think too much about that. When I told Ham and my mom, my mom said, “A high school sweetheart. Everyone has one.” I don’t know what it was about that girl, but I just had to be with her. Mostly on Fridays, or Saturdays, we went to a party, a movie, skating or we would just sit by the water. Sitting on a pier in the evening or night is the most peaceful thing in the world. A person can get a lot of thinking done sitting and listening to the water. Ham and I often did that together, sometimes late at night.

The picture above is of the new Stevensville high school. Ham and I attended the old one. As I remember it, in the old school, the flagpole was much taller than the one in the picture above, and it was not in the front of the building like it is now.

I remember the time Gwen wanted me to prove my love to her. We were walking home from school, as we did daily. It was a Friday in April and we were making plans for the evening and the weekend. When we got to her house, I said, “I love you,” just as we both turned to depart. I had never said it before. I was very careful about saying things I wasn’t quite sure about. At that moment I realized I’d let that slip out, and I wanted to take it back. So, I added, “Thanks for the help in English.” That way she would take it as a “general love,” and mainly for the help. But she didn’t let it go. She repeated what I’d said and asked if it was true. I spoke around it as much as possible saying things like, “You know what I mean,” the thing most guys say when they don’t want to admit the truth. She pressed on. If you really love me, then climb up the flagpole for me.

At school on Monday, she circulated to everyone that I would climb up the flagpole to prove my love for her. It was set for Friday when there were no games or afterschool programs scheduled. Only those special people who got the word passed to them were expect to show up. Instead, almost every student in the school came out to see me climb up that flagpole. The word (our cell phone) had gotten to almost everybody. I was really nervous, and I . . . ..

Want to find out what happened? Read it in The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

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