CALLI VULC X RAD
In 1987, I was fifteen years old. I would be sixteen in September, but it was still early summer. On a sunny Sunday morning, riding in the back of my mom’s ‘63 VW Bug on Highway 20 from Winthrop to Twisp, I was busy doodling on the edges of my Vans.
RAD had come out the year before. A cheesy coming-of-age movie about a small town BMXer’s triumph over the professional racer and, of course, getting the girl.
I owned the soundtrack, which was playing on my Walkman. The song Send Me An Angel by Real Life cranked in my ears. The sides of my shoes displayed a collage of messages. “RAD,” “Send Me An Angel,” and “Homeboy,” among other ’80s wisdom.
We were headed to church. My grandpa owned a 140-acre ranch in Winthrop, where we would visit him often. While my friends back in Seattle were spending their summers boating or playing sports or just hanging out with each other, I was hauling water from the well a mile down the road or hanging out with the goats.
This morning we decided to visit the local Baptist church in Twisp. My mom was a single Christian woman who wanted to try and raise me right, and I think she hoped church would be a good influence. For me, it was a chance to see some other kids. I remember praying that morning in the back of the car, “Send me an angel, right now!”
It was a naive prayer. But God is gracious in our naivety. I would discover 34 years later that maybe He really did answer my prayer that day.
After church, there was a get-together at the local park. That’s where I met Melanie. She was one of the pastor’s daughters. Much later on, I would learn a little more about her family. But on that day, all I knew was, she was the sweetest, most beautiful girl I had ever met. God had sent me an angel…
We wrote to each other a couple times. But in the last letter she sent, Melanie wrote, “we can be friends, but don’t get any other ideas!” She was a year or so older than me. While I was headed for my junior year of high school, she would be a senior and already planning for college. I remember her telling me about a school in San Diego she was thinking about attending. I was thinking about building BMX ramps.
Flat out dope love them