9th grade brought a whole lot of new experiences for me. Not only did I experience my first kiss, but I rode on the back of a dirt bike for the first time with my arms tightly wrapped around the Kennedy boy and I came face to face with a fresh cow patty on more than one occasion as we played king of the mountain on top of the stacked hay bales.

My best friend in 9th grade lived in a house with some property not far from mine. I hung out there a lot. They had dirt bikes, cows, horses, a big barn and a long fence. We rode horses quite a bit and dirt bikes too. I was not as comfortable on the dirt bikes as I was on the horses, but put a boy on that dirt bike and I suddenly loved riding dirt bikes. And actually I did love being a passenger, I just didn’t like being in control of the dirt bike. I panicked revved on more than one occasion into the bob wired fence and that was enough to scare the crap out of me.

Whenever my friend and I proposed to her parents that we wanted to have some guy friends stop by or come over to ride dirt bikes or play king of the mountain on the property there was always a chore that needed to be accomplished first. Most of the time it included cleaning out the barn. Every time we cleaned out the barn, we would dream about having a barn dance there and talk about how we would decorate for it. The other memorable chore we had to do was paint the long fence white. We painted that fence in order to have boys over, but we also painted everything besides the fence, including each other. That paint was in our hair, down our backs, up our shirts, down our legs, and did I mention in our hair. We always had fun at her house. And sometimes we even had the boys over to help us accomplish the “cleaning out of the barn.” They helped because they wanted to ride the dirt bikes as bad as we wanted to ride with them. Good times.

The Kennedy boy and I would always ride together. I would hop on the back and we would take off on the trail, over jumps, out past the horses, around the corner and then stop in the far end of the property to kiss for awhile. When my friend and Charlie, the other boy that would come, would finally catch up with us on the dirt bikes we would quickly take off again on the trail, to not let on that we had been kissing. It was always so fun and our little secret what we did out there on that dirt bike trail. I didn’t even tell my friend that that was what we were doing out there for awhile. Secret times.

We would ride until dusk and then end each get together with a game of king of the mountain and fresh cow patty fights. Smelly times.

But what came with the good times, the secret times and the smelly times was a song that my friend and I made up while cleaning out the barn one day. You see, we knew that Chuck, our nickname for Charlie, really liked my best friend. But because the Kennedy boy and I weren’t divulging that we were kissing out on the dirt bike track, it was still a mystery as to whether the Kennedy boy liked me. So the Kennedy boy told us that as soon as Charlie kissed my friend he would let us know if he liked me.

Whitney Houston’s song “How Will I Know” came out right about the same time as our barn cleaning days. We listened to it over and over again while we did our chores. We came up with our own words to the chorus about how I would find out if the Kennedy boy really like me….the lyrics went like this “How will I know if he really loves me, I guess I’ll wait ‘til Chuck kisses Christine!” I’ve included the song at the top of my playlist so you can sing along.

I can’t remember if Chuck ever did kiss Christine and I don’t think we ever got a public announcement of the Kennedy boy’s true feelings for me in 9th grade. But I do know now how much fun it is to still sing those lyrics to Dave while I’m in the shower some 24 years later! So go ahead…sing my version of Whitney Houston at the top of your lungs. It’s kind of catchy.

Oh and Part Two of our story includes another dirt bike ride through the streets of Napa, illegally, with my arms around the Kennedy boy’s waist again, but swearing I was going to fall off the back that time. And would you believe it if I told you we are the proud owners of 5 dirt bikes and ride together as a family now! Hunny, I think you owe me a ride with a kiss. It’s been awhile! But I’ll pass on the cow patty, thank you.


  1. Hmm, chores for boys ~ I wonder why I didn't think of that? Jeannie was much smarter than me!


  2. Chores for boys! hahahaaa!!! For Baby J - I'll do chores for girls! :)
    And cow patty fights... gross! I so am not an outdoorsie girl (although we do go camping now and dirt biking now... we stay in our RV ha!) I grew up in such the city type of life! ahhahaaa

  3. the song playing...nice touch...makes me totally imagine Footloose...and the barn...eighties hair....and dirt bike trails...I'm anxious for the next installment.

  4. Enjoy those little ones...they will be grown before you know it. I want to thank you for stopping by during my SITS spotlight. Please come back anytime. Blessings, Nancy

  5. awwww- i LOVE it! this story just gets better and better!

  6. Do you remember that crazy food fight we got in in that barn, I think it was a bday party for Charlie. If I were Jeannie I would've killed us all!


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