from a dad's view


Fall In Indiana – Watercolor


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Watercolor sketches of Indiana Fall leaves. The leaves haven’t turned yet but will in just a few weeks. This is one thing I will miss once moved to Florida. You have really missed out on a gift from God if you’ve never walked through a woods with turning leaves, or even better yet walk into a woods and just sit on a stump and watch the beautiful dance of golden leaves falling. And even better yet, take your kids or grandchildren with you and sit quietly, and admire the beauty of the woods and the creatures that live there. It’s time we all slow down and be thankful for the beauty given to us, and not let it pass without notice.

On a rainy day – Watercolor


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On this Indiana rainy day, I thought that I would post this painting I did a few months ago. The weather is moving into the fall season and it’s been fairly dry, but with this rain today, hopefully the burst of fall foliage will take bloom. Southern Indiana is supposed to be one of the most beautiful areas in the world to capture the beauty of colorful fall leaves. With our huge variety of trees, the colors burst into an explosion of oranges, yellows, reds, deep red, purple, rust and green. To view some wonderful photos type in Nashville, Indiana fall foliage or Brown County, Indiana on google image.

American Pharaoh – Watercolor

  • 2015DerbyPreaknessclick on image to zoom I apologize for the poor quality photo with reflections and distortions, but this was taken at an outdoor show. With the brilliant colors of the Derby, and the excitement of the horses, I hope this painting captures some of that for you, and that you will enjoy it. This is a framed 18″ x 24″ original watercolor

Manatee Sea Cow – watercolor

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My daughters are getting ready to move to Florida and one will be working with Winter the dolphin missing a tail replaced by a prosthetic. There was a movie released about it called A Dolphin Tail starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Ashley Judd. She will be working with several mammals at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Along with that, she will be swimming with these huge but adorable creatures. \
I have painted several wildlife of different colors series and they seem to be really popular, so I thought that I would do one of the Manatee to go with the series. Although this one isn’t finished yet, it is all watercolor and will be matted to fit a 16″ x 20″ frame.

I hope you enjoy, and I will post the final product once finished.

Life ROCKS! watercolor and Pen and Ink

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Now I’m not one to stop very often, always moving, working, playing, and as a famous wise man once said “Git-R-Done” kind of guy, but when I stop there’s nothing better than a porch swing or a rocking chair. As I was painting this, although lonely in feeling, you have to wonder how many thoughts are, and were going through his mind while rocking in this chair for years. Front porches are a lost communication tool that needs to be brought back. Kids are missing out on the benefit of getting chewed out for swinging to high on the front porch swing that was meant for a gentle swing (been there done that). To many teenagers have missed out on the gentle swing or glide, outside, while parents are inside (probably peeking out the window) holding hands for the first time, first time kiss, all while swaying in a gentle way, almost seemingly to comfort both young nerves (been there done that). And then there is the wonderful time of holding your baby in your arms while swinging, or the proudest grandparent holding their grand baby remembering back when they held their own on the same swing or rocker (been there done that). Couples finally calling it a day and swinging together as they did when teenagers and discussing future plans, and just relaxing (been there done that). And then as the later years of life set in, to be able to sit in that same swing or rocker that holds so many memories of family, love, and yes even some pain, still brings back a little comfort to life and usually a smile. My Mother-In-Law passed about a year ago and one of the last pictures taken was all the family sitting on the porch swing remembering the wonderful times that we had with both parents, it once again brought the family love and thoughts together in a way that they would love to see. I’m sure there is a mental reason why people and babies have always enjoyed the rocking motion, but I do know that I plan to ROCK my life away and I hope you ROCK ON with me!

6″ x 6″ watercolor with pen and ink sketching

Future Wine – Watercolor

grapesClick on image to zoom

I’m not a wine expert or even close, but I do like a glass of dry wine every once in a while. The Biltmore wines (Ashville, N. Carolina) is some of my favorite. If you have never visited the Vanderbilt home known as the Biltmore… It’s a must! This home (Castle) is not only the biggest home in the U.S., but built amazing collection of history, arts, furniture, and grandeur of architecture. First indoor bowling ally, 70,000 gallon indoor heated and lighted pool, instant hot water through out the entire home, which is a 179,000 square foot home… 179,000 square feet. I have been there 4 times and simply amazed every time I go. You can google it, but believe me everything photo found, will not do the actual room, garden, wood working, furnishings, and art pieces justice, it’s a must see in real life to appreciate it.

So take a trip and visit this beautiful home and winery, and have a few taste test glasses for me!

Little green apples

A little bit of red,

A splash of Green,

Eat to many,

A bathroom will soon be seen.

Covered with sugar,

surrounded by a crust,

The best way to eat,

an Apple pie is a must.

Just watch out for the seeds,

for those you don’t want to swallow,

for if you do,

a tree inside you will soon follow.

It’s Friday,

and I’m not much of a poet,

But for those who know me,

already know it!


Have a great weekend! Oh, the painting is a 5″ x 7″ watercolor wash, with ink line work. I’, showing 2 stages of progress together.   Just incase you wanted to know.


The Bachelorette – The Rose

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Emily! Sweet, sweet Emily! Could you get any sweeter?  Call me what you want, but I hunt, fish, do all the redneck stuff that you can think of… and guess what, I’m caught up in this season of  The Bachelorette. I usually will watch the show kind of, off and on, and really not be that interested, but this year, Emily (the bachelorette) is so freaking sweet and gorgeous, that she has to be fake or acting, so I FORCE myself to watch it. But my wife has been a pretty big fan most of the seasons and has consistently watch each show, along with several of her friends at work. Every year, or season, my wife have several ladies over for the final rose ceremony and I made the mistake the one year of surprising each lady with a rose when they came through the door… MISTAKE! The next time they arrived for the final rose ceremony, they all were upset because they were expecting roses again, and I had failed them. So this Sunday is the final show again, and I figured all the girls would be over again for my wife’s party, and last night I painted this for my wife to give away to one of the girls. Great idea right, wrong, several are on vacation and others can’t come over because of prior engagements… so I failed again! Oh well at least I took the time to paint  again, I just haven’t had the time lately.

Have a great weekend! and Emily, I’ll see you sunday! LOL

A long walk to no where!

It’s a freezing cold night, with the brisk cold air leaking from every crack and seems of both the windows and the floor. The wood furnace cranked up so hot, that the wood stove itself is red hot, and will take the skin right off of you, if touched. But that stove is several rooms away, and although 80 degrees in that room, it’s only 40 in your bedroom. The only thing keeping you from freezing, is being sunk down about 2 feet in a feather bed, with three grandma made quilts on top of you. But that’s when it hits you! All that ice tea that was sweetened with 5 scoops of sugar, is now weighing hard on the old bladder and you need to visit the John, Mrs. Jones, Privy, Outhouse, or for you younger kids… the bathroom or toilet! Now, I’m only 49, but both of my grandparents had an outhouse when I was younger, barely old enough to remember, but I do remember them. You know how hard it is to get up from underneath those warm blankets in the winter now and walk a few feet to a inside, heated bathroom, just think when there was very little heat and the bathroom was outside and a mile away! Okay, maybe not a mile, but it seemed like it. First you would have to determine whether or not you could hold it until the morning, but if not, then you would have determine whether or not you were able to climb out of a mountain of a feather bed around you. Once you have worn yourself out lifting the 100 pounds of quilts off, and climbing over the feather bed, putting all your clothes on, grabbing a flashlight and head out the back door for the long trek to the shack. My grandparents lived in the country, so the night was as dark as you can get, so before entering the shack, you would peak in with your light making sure that there isn’t any wild critters such as raccoons, possums, snakes or wasp (in the summer), rats and spiders or other crawly creatures. Once determined all is clear, you would go in with hopes that all goes well, and you’re out of there quickly. Now, my grandparents were rich… because they had toilet paper awaiting, instead of the Sears catalog or news paper, sorry, not everyone can be so privileged. Now that “the deed is done” as we would say, you would sprint back as fast as possible because of the fear from all the noises that you heard around you while sitting there, and the freezing cold. Running in, throwing your clothes back off and diving back under those wonderfully thick heavy quilts and on top of that wonderfully sinking down two foot deep feather bed! Those were the GOOD OL’DAYS!

or option 2:  Use the large metal pot with a lid underneath the bed! Gross!

This is a 10″ x 10″ watercolor that I painted while waiting in a hotel room in West Virginia. My brother and I visited Gettysburg and other battle fields and I hope to post some paintings of those sites later this week or next. Have a safe fourth of July! And thank you all that is fighting now, in the future,  and in the past for our freedom!

I could have DIED! funny friday

Click on image to zoom in, and don’t forget to visit other paintings in my gallery in listings above.

So many near death events in my life… you laugh, but it’s true! How does a kid make it through so many years of stupidity and bad judgement. The unfinished stream above looks fun, cool and wet, but one similar to this one almost killed me, and my grandfather. Well, I decided to list a few, and feel free to list some of yours in a comment.

Here we go!

1. It brings fear back into my mind just to relive this in words. It was a beautiful summer day at Spring Mill Park in Indiana. The heat was beaming down, the humidity was so bad, fish could live out of water, and of course I was barefoot and shirtless. My family was gathered around the stream picnicking, the streams temperature was so cold it would make your feet numb if you stayed in it to long. That’s when this shirtless, shoeless kid decides that the moss, slime covered rocks would be a blast to play on in the stream… Bad Idea! Being about 6 or 7 years old (I think) I started across this death stream with balance and agility, so I thought, with in seconds my feet were in the air above my shoulders, my butt following my feet, and my head and shoulders were where my feet had begun the journey. Bam! Whack! (a little batman lingo) I hit the rocks right between my shoulder blades! Air shot out of my body like a gun, both lungs collapsed, ribs cracking, and death was near! Actually the wind just got knocked out of me, and the embarrassment did more damage than the fall. BUT I COULD HAVE DIED!  You ask how this nearly killed my granddad? His air left his body as fast as mine, although he wasn’t in the stream or hit any rocks… it was from laughing so hard! That’s right, my granddad nearly laughed himself to death that day and everyday after that when he often reminded me of that day.

2.  Another time, was when I thought that I was Evil Kenevil and decided that it would be a good idea to make a home-made bike ramp… wrong!  Back in my days (sounds like my dad) we didn’t have these fancy BMX bikes, we had sting rays, with crouch killing banana seats! And whose idea was it to make the boys bikes with the cross-bar… a woman! I think it was women that decided to pay back men by designing a bike with the man killing bar across the middle.  But it wasn’t the bar that got me… at least not this time, it was the amazing, blistering speed that I reached while flying down what seem like a mountain, hit the ramp, and of course just when leaving the ramp, you pull up hard and spring your legs  to get more altitude. Sounds cool! But if done just right, your bike leaves the ramp and continues on a circular motion. Now days the pros do this on purpose and continues into a flip… I WASN’T a pro and continue into a flip anyway, and proceeded to once again land on the back of my neck and head… I COULD HAVE DIED!  But I didn’t, after my lungs decided to work again, and oxygen was once again reaching vital organs, I sprung up and looked around in fear of someone seeing just how stupid I was.

3. The mini bike, that’s right, a mini bike. These were small motorcycles with a pull string starter and a frame made for war. They weren’t like the pansy scooters now days, these were death traps waiting to happen… and I had one.  The seat was a crappy piece of foam with about eight layers of tape wrapped around it for a custom upholstery look.  Foolishly we decided to load this mean machine up and take it to my Uncles… bad decision once again. My uncle standing in his front yard, cranked the string and roared the engine and said Ryan jump on and take it for a ride. Now remember as I’m telling the story, that I had already rode it a few times before.  I jumped on like the manly, 60 pound, Harley Dude that I was, cranked the accelerator and off I went. Oooooh @#$%! my mind panicked, my brain shut down, and everything that I knew to stop, went blank. Zoom around the house I went… to the side… to the back… to the side… and back to the front yard! My uncle laughing and standing in a defensive basketball stance, ready to grab me as I slowed down. The problem is… I didn’t slow down, I sped up! My eyes were as big as baseballs and my uncle’s got just as big once he realized that there was no stopping me.  I flew towards him, he dives out-of-the-way like a stuntman in an action movie, and past him I zoomed. About half way through his corn field, my brain clicked in, and I released the throttle and pulled the brake… that’s all it took! BUT I COULD HAVE DIED! And then there was the Spark Plug from this machine of death zipping past my and my brothers forehead at terminal velocity… Nearly killing us… but that’s another story!

The watercolor and ink above isn’t finished yet but I wanted to post something today. I hope to finish it next monday. Have a great weekend!

Cardinals Win!

But this little guy doesn’t act that happy about it. Sure the other cardinals are making millions of dollars, living in huge HEATED homes, or better yet flying to some tropical island for the winter until spring training.  While this little sits in a pine tree draped with heavy snow and as snow continues to fall on his little head.  Life would be a lot better for him if they made Snuggies in his size!

Oh and congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals and their amazing year of baseball. I’m not a huge baseball fan, NFL football and College basketball are my favorites, but I’ll have to admit that the ending season and the World Series this year was pretty exciting.

I did this 7″ x 10″ watercolor last night while watching t.v., I haven’t had a lot of time to paint so I wanted to do something simple just to keep myself painting. Everyone have a safe and family filled Thanksgiving, and give thanks for what you have no matter how little it is.

Old Rusty Piece of…. Beauty!

With Fall approaching fast and the temperatures dropping, I find my self thinking of treasures, not the treasures of a pirate ship, although that would be great but other treasures.  Call me a nerd but I love to explore, metal detect, yes I said metal detect, you would be absolutely amazed how many old coins, historical relics, old toys and so much more is still hidden by the earth.  In almost every yard of a house that was built in the sixties and earlier, have I not found a silver coin.  Unfortunately in Indiana the ground by the end of June or July is so freaking hard, not only can you not dig, but you would have to use a jack hammer to dig anything.  Along with metal detecting, I also loved to explore the woods for hidden treasures such as this old car, and other pieces with a story.  I look at these pieces of rust different from others, I always wonder about the story behind them, was the family poor, rich, did they have the vacation memories in this car, like I have in ours now.  Like the Picker Sisters, I have decided to collect some of these pieces and create some art or furniture out of them, hopefully will post photos someday soon.

This original watercolor is 7 1/2″  x  7 1/2″ on 140 lb coldpress paper.  The colors may vary due to the scan.   $100.00

a RAY of SOUL – watercolor

This songs for you… well I can’t sing-a-lick, so instead I painted this version of one of my favorite voices, Ray Charles.  I was listening to his song “This song’s for you”, talking about kicking butt, this man could do it.  The soul that some musicians have, absolutely comes through every word they sing.  They might not have the greatest of voices (he did), but the energy, the passion, and the soul that they release, makes the song.  I love music of all kinds, as long as they put some type of soul into the song.  We have lost that in the last 20 years, because of lip syncing and the pop music marketing.  If you noticed most of the huge stars in the past 20 years have disappeared, and that’s because they didn’t have, or lost the passion and soul of their music.  Don’t get me wrong, I have listened to Pop music all my life, and some was absolutely horrible… but fun, but fun usually will get a singer a one hit wonder, or if your lucky two.  Look at the music industry and see who is still surviving and releasing music even after the age of 50, 60’s, it’s because they have the soul.  The one thing that I have noticed on this years American Idol, is that more of the singers have that soul to their voices, and passion for what they are singing. Let’s just hope that the music industry don’t get a hold of them and rob them of their souls.  Because a person with out soul, is a person without heart.  So throw away those damn head mics, throw away those recordings playing in the background, grab a guitar, piano, or hand-held mic and bring back the soul in music.

This watercolor is a 3.5″ x 3.5″ on hot pressed board, and I rocked to Ray while painting it!

Native American Hunter-Pen & Ink

This is not from my friends book, but from the inspiration I had while doing the artwork.  I hope that no one is offended by what I have written, it is written with respect and honor of both life and death.

The Drawing is copy righted, please do not rip my friend off!

Alone-Robot hand final sketch


This is a scene taken from the gardens behind my house… just joking! Trailers don’t have columns… Just joking, I don’t live in a trailer!  Actually this is an acrylic painting I started at the end of last week and didn’t get to work on it much over the weekend, but I wanted to post it in a beginning stage.  My camera, which I’m still hoping to get a new one soon, takes crappy pictures, but this will at least give you an idea of what I’m working on.  I love old architecture, the craftsmanship and beauty is amazing, especially seeing that they used rough tools and no computers for the engineering. I’m hoping to get a few evenings this week to finish it, but I have plenty to do on the old “honey – do list”.  It’s kind of exciting to pick up the old acrylics tubes again and splash some color on a canvas.  Well, I hope you like it and hopefully by Friday I’ll have the finished product.  See Ya soon!

Springtime is HERE! Challenge!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

What a wonderful response, and I’m so excited to see what my so talented blog friends have done with this. I’ll be honest, the first one I did, I threw it away in disappointment. I’m not happy with this one, but my wonderful wife and I went on a short anniversary trip so I didn’t have time to do anything else. O.K. enough about my excuses… I can’t wait to see what everyone else has done. SO LET THE FUN BEGIN.

Post a comment here and leave your linking web. Make sure to visit everyones blog today, to see the talent and styles!

Thanks everyone for the participation and taking the time to do this.

Springtime Challenge!

I challenge you! O.K. it’s getting closer to spring and I’m getting excited. What I thought we might try is a painting or drawing free-for-all. I love that so many of my blog guest have styles completely different from myself. So, I picked a spring photo that I thought could be interpreted in different styles.  I doesn’t matter what media, style or interpretation you do, but I would liked for it to be this photo. And then on Monday, March 22, the first Monday after Spring weekend, we can all post them at the same time, visit each others blogs and see how art is such a wonderful thing.  On that day, I will post my painting, and with your comments that you leave for me, others can link to your blog to see your interpretation of the same photo.  The only thing I ask is not to post your painting until that day, so others won’t be influenced by your work.  I think we will all be amazed how different each will be.  This is also an opportunity to try something new, I think I’m going out of my comfort zone on this one and attempt a new approach.

This may or may not work, but the more that attempts it, the  better!

Good luck and see your art on March 22!

Twisted fun – Ink wash

I needed another black and white drawing to fill a small space in my studio, and very little time to paint, so I painted this.  All my life, I have always love to walk in the woods and explore.  Some of my favorite t.v. shows are survivor, man vs wild and survivorman which are shows about a person or persons trying to survive a week or month with very little brought along.  When I was younger, I would go into the forest or as we say in southern indiana (a woods) and play the entire day looking and exploring. I can’t tell you how many times that I have walked across a tree similar to the tree in the drawing, over a stream or ditch. I also can’t tell you how many time the tree gave away or I just slipped and fell into that stream or ditch. I was always climbing a tree, walking across a tree or swinging from vines that reached so high into the tree you weren’t sure and couldn’t see how it was attached, but I still climbed it and swung from it, sometimes resulting in injury (I’ve never claimed to be very smart).  Yep, I was and I guess still am a country boy at heart, never wore shoes unless my mom made me, never wore a shirt unless my mom made me and never came home until way after dark, unless my made me. Now that I think about it, I might still be in those woods, shirtless, shoeless and climbing if my mom wouldn’t have made me come in.  But with my pocket knife deep into my pocket and my trusty BB gun at my side, I’m sure this boy could have done just fine.  I was good at making traps, my knife was always sharp and I was so accurate with my BB gun that I could peck a fly off a cats ears at twenty yards with out touching a hair on the cat.  Yep, those were the days, and I still catch myself crossing ditches when hunting, only now I pick those that can hold a 190lb man and low enough to the ditch to where if I fall, things won’t get broke, because if I break something my wife might treat me like a horse and use that for an excuse to get rid of me.

If you haven’t explored a woods, grab a camera, some bug spray and get into one, you will be amazed at all of its beauty.  But be careful, there are a lot of dangers in a simple woods and study your surroundings when walking in, that way you can find your way out when finished.

Things that might make you regret going into the woods:

1.  Chiggers and Ticks, these little $#@*&? (my way of cussing), if you ever had 50 bites along your… well lets just say private parts that itch like crazy, you know why I cuss them.

2.  Not able to find your way out… never a good thing.

3.  Swinging from a vine high in the air… until you hear the cracking noise and throwing you to your back, sucking the air from your lungs.

4.  Enjoying the animals… unless man-eating bears, large cats, poisonous snakes and insects.

5.  Did I mention those Damn Chiggers and ticks!

6.  Falling… that’s all I need to say about that.

7.  Weird toothless guys playing banjo… it’s from a old movie called “Deliverance” … RUN, and don’t stop RUNNING!

Well this may help you survive a trip to the nearest woods, have fun!

Saddle sore — Acrylic

This is my first painting of 2010, it’s a 11″ x 14″ acrylic. Although started on New Years Eve (Chaperoning daughters party), I finished it New years day, so it should be marked 2010, not 2009. I enjoyed doing this painting, although there wasn’t a lot of detail in the face which I normally enjoy doing, trying to get motion and height to the rider was a challenge. This will be on for sale on my etsy account (smalltownartistdad).

There is a scan line going across the image because my scanner isn’t big enough to scan the entire thing. I tried to cover it in photoshop, but it’s still visible in some areas. I hope you enjoy and hopefully many more to come in 2010!


Don’t stare at it or you may start feeling a little dizzy… and not because your blonde. Finished this saturday morning for my youngest daughter. Click on the photo to get a better view. Have a great one!

Holly Berry is finished!

Worked on this friday at lunch and saturday morning to finish it up. It’s matted with a black mat backed off the image to leave a white 1/4 ” trim and then framed. The image shows the black all the way up to the painting, I did this just to give it a border for the post. This was a quick but fun painting that measures about 7″ x10″. Happy Holidays!


Some details still needed in the faces and fence, but I thought you might want to see where I’m at with the horses. This is a 20″ x 24″ Acrylic on canvas. I haven’t spent a lot of recent time on it due to being extremely busy. I hope you enjoy and please comment, even if it is to critic. It will soon be for sale on etsy or somewhere on the web. Please comment whether good or bad. Thanks

Scared the crap out of me!

RatHave you ever been so scared that you tried to run from something and even though your legs and feet were going a hundred miles an hour, you went no where? It’s like the old cartoon, where they were running so fast and not moving, that smoke started lifting from their feet. Well some us have seen it… not mentioning any names (brother), but it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. We were in my basement with a drop ceiling, where we suspected a mouse or rat had gotten in. We never had one before, so this was a new experience. So, I decided to put poison above the ceiling tile where we thought it was living. Now, not mentioning any names (brother) we ventured down the stairs, as I slowly lifted the ceiling, I saw a piece of ceiling insulation falling out. Being the teaser that I am, as it fell to where my brother (oops) could see it, I yelled loudly, THERE IT GOES! Catching a glance of something leaping from the tile, the man (my brother) started running like an Olympic sprinter, the only difference was, he ran in place practically burning a hole in the carpet. What he envisioned was this giant, man-eating, rat, pictured above, diving for his juggler. This was horribly mean of me, but I’m telling you, if you were there, you to would have laughed your head off. Oh, by the way we were both over the age of 35, not kids.

O.k. now that I’m going to catch hell from (my brother), I’ll tell one on myself. We were TPing (throwing Toilet Paper into the trees) at a friend’s house for Halloween. Iwas about 14 years old, 130 lbs, and apparently not very smart. I was with several older kids, some boys and girls. Anyway, in the process of TPing the dad of the person getting TPed comes busting out of the front door with a shotgun… acting like he was out to kill someone. He pointed the gun in the air and shucked a shell (we thought) into the chamber. Anyone who has hunted, knows the sound of a pump shotgun being loaded, and knows what a shotgun can do to you. Needless to say, I became an Olympic runner just like my older brother, only I was moving, when running. First of all, you can’t out run a shotgun, second of all, it was dark, Third and most important, when running in the dark at full speed, you have to watch for CLOTHES LINES! You guess it, at full speed, I ran my head and neck right into a clothes line and went instantly from an Olympic runner, to an Olympic gymnast, doing a triple flip, in pike position, right onto the ground (scoring all 10’s). All I could hear in the background was the shotgun bearing crazy man, laughing his head off, knowing he scared the CRAP out of me. Now, for the good news, after picking myself up in shame, still running, I leaped into the back of a pickup truck. No, that’s not the good news, the good news was, that a very attractive high school girl was leaping in after me and landing on top of me, Oh, did I mention that she was a high schooler, and I was in junior high.

There’s a couple of examples, now give me your moments, that you were scared the crap out of.