In the Field : Jared Mahone : 11/9 “Memories”

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November 9, 2013

Touring all these college campuses makes me think of my own higher learning days. I paid my way through college by auditioning for a fifteen member performance group that was equal parts campus PR team, theme park show, cover band, recruitment effort, and a cappella group. Lets face it. . .I was in a collegiate show choir and there were way to many jazz hands and costume changes.

I realized, I had been to this small Wisconsin town of Ripon once before. The group toured roughly 160 dates each year on behalf of the college and we saw the country in three vans, including Ripon. I made some great friends and met my wife. Not a bad way to get a degree.

Of all the great memories we made touring together, one memory was brought back after seeing Ripon on the schedule. The last time I was in this town, I was with that college group doing a show. After, we stopped by the local (chain) A&W restaurant for some burgers and root beer floats. It’s important to mention that we had a never ending game circulating in the group that had a high point at this very fast food establishment. The rules were simple; if someone “calls” you to do something, you do it. No arguments, no negotiations. You don’t have calling privileges until you have completed your first call, and your calling privileges are suspended until you complete the call that is given to you.

Knowing that my friend Nikky was as competitive as she was body-image conscious, I called her to tackle and finish a super large root beer float before we were all done eating. Considering her life choices to eat healthy, this call was admittedly cruel, I understand, but calls were high stakes. Plus, I’m sure she had it coming. Nikky would never eat a root beer float, let alone a single scoop of ice cream. But, in this case, she was called to do it and couldn’t refuse.

I would love to say that she did the deed, and one would assume she did as evident by the cheering crowd once she slammed an empty cup on the table. But I’m almost positive she ran straight to the bathroom to forced it back up. That’s right, I’m accusing her of “throwing” the challenge, so to speak.

I’ve been “on the road” in one form or another since college and I have to admit, it’s stories and memories like this one that are a part of why I love the life. There’s no point in being nostalgic just yet though. I have plenty more memories to make. Jared Mahone


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