The renaissance is my favorite time of year in the Appalachians. The leaves return. HippieHill is refilled and the Klondike Bar overflows.
Yet, I am filled with sadness because so many Appalachian State University students I have come to know and respect will soon graduate and move on.
I know they should. Still, I will miss them.
Take for example, James, aka the Flying Rooster. We've hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail together where he posed, along side my daughter, as ASU students for an admission brochure. He also worked in the Educational Media Services department near my office. He's one heck of a photographer/photojournalist who worked for the student newspaper. It is not going to be the same without him. He's a great kid turned adult, ready to make his way in this world.
When I saw James today he was sporting a new haircut.
"James, what's with the new do?" I asked.
"I'm trying to get a job off the mountain," he said.
"Whatever I can do, I will," I replied, adding that I have zero clout.
I don't think he heard me, but no matter.
Despite the economy, James will always land on his feet. He' got that undescribable 'where-with-all" gumption I tend to like.
He's a good 'un.
Good luck to James and all graduating students.