Over the course of that year, there was one thing that came up more often than any other topic (yes, Em, even more frequently than how awesome it is that Sam Seaborn went to Duke) - and that was the ominous-sounding town of Chagrin Falls. The way Lindsay described her hometown was nothing short of idolatry. She absolutely worshipped that place and everybody in it. Coming from a home town that I was not particularly attached to and happy to escape after HS, I struggled to understand Lindsay's undying love for Chagrin. "Oh, well then you MUST come for Blossom" she urged without explanation, as if every town in America shut down their streets on Memorial Day to hold an Americana-filled celebration of small-town simplicity. (On a side note, nobody I have ever met found more beauty in simplicity than Lindsay did. Anybody ever hear her wax poetically about the perfect glass of ice water?) So, in the summer of 2007 I made the unforgettable trip to Northeastern Ohio's crowning jewel: the Blossom Festival of Chagrin Falls.
I have never run for public office, but if I ever do, I will already have first-hand experience with what it feels like to be 'vetted'. I was 'the boyfriend' of a former Blossom Queen, ON BLOSSOM WEEKEND. The whole thing was rather overwhelming for me...from meeting the other 4 of 'the best 5 b*tches in Chagrin' (their term, not mine), to meeting Greg, Kyle and the boys while shotgunning beers at 9 AM, and perhaps most importantly, I had to eat AT LEAST 10 of John's famous pancakes or I just wouldn't last in that town. I put down 11 just to be safe. Throughout the weekend, I continued to be blown away by the way that Lindsay carried herself. She was a fish in water (like NuNu, the fish that Lindsay and I won for Libby's little brother Duncan at the carnival. He sadly died months later but was replaced by a line of New NuNu's - phew!) - this WAS her element and she soaked up every glorious second with the beauty, charisma and grace that we have come to expect of our royalty. All I can say is that I have never in my life been so proud to be on the arm of another individual. I was quite simply the luckiest guy in Chagrin.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and, if that's the case, then I tip my hat to you Chagrin Falls. You raised one hell of a young woman. Thank you to all of Lindsay's family members, friends, teachers, coaches and the like. You should all be incredibly proud of the young woman Lindsay grew to be. As can be seen on this blog, or on Duke's campus and donor drives across America, her enduring spirit lives on.
Long live the Queen.