It’s Been One Month Since You Looked At Me

By: Luke Addison, Concessions Assistant

This weekend marks the 1 month anniversary in my relationship with the city of Hickory.  It seems only yesterday that my parents were helping me move my clothes and my three pieces of furniture into my apartment.  While we may not be buying each other chocolates and flowers to celebrate, it’s safe to say that the two of us have developed a quick and passionate bond.  So much has happened in just 30 days that it seems as though any second now I will wake up back in Ohio tucked safely away under my Thomas the Tank Engine sheets.

My first impression of Hickory was that whoever designed the street plans was either a major prankster or a lunatic.  Almost all of the streets have numbers in their title.  There is 5th St SE; 5th St. Pl. SE; 5th Ave NE; 5th Ave Dr. NE; and probably a 5th Ave. Pl. Dr. Blvd. Ct. Ln. Rd. St. SW somewhere.  So imagine my frustration the first week as I was sitting at the corner of 2nd and 2nd with no idea as to which way to proceed.  (I have since figured out that streets go north and south, avenues east and west, and the direction represents the quadrant of the city they’re located in.  The difference between 29th Ave. and 29th Ave. Dr.?  You’ve got me). 

The adjustment to a new bed time was, and still is, equally as challenging.  Having lived a life of leisure before my arrival, bed time was not a point of concern with me.  I thought nothing of staying up past 2 or sleeping in past 11.  Now, that alarm is screaming in my ear at 7:30 each morning, making sure I’m off to make something of my life.  It’s quite a chore now to stay up and watch the late game of March Madness and if I do, I pay for it the entire next day.  No wonder adults are so cranky.  (Yes, I’m 24 and I still consider myself a kid.)

I must admit, the life I left behind was pretty grand.  I could not have been luckier to live my life with more wonderful people.  There were all my loving family members, who were always there for me through thick and thin.  There was the greatest group of friends this Earth has seen assembled since the time the Super Friends got together, always down for some Saturday night shenanigans.  And last but not least there was my furry little dog Zeke, as good a companion a guy could ask for. 

I gave it all up to pursue my dream, not knowing anybody and having never lived more than an hour away from my parents.  Thankfully I found Hickory.  The Crawdad family has been wonderful in welcoming me in to their home.  Work is a hundred times easier when you are side by side with people you can enjoy yourself with.  The perks have been pretty awesome so far as well.  The apartment they set me up in is the nicest place I’ve lived in (excluding the laundry situation).  The weather has been great for my sun tan, which I know the ladies will appreciate.  I also get to participate in the Corporate Challenge, a series of competitions to determine which office is the greatest in all of Hickory.  (The level of competitiveness rivals anything in professional sports.)  

On top of it all, last weekend was the most fun I’ve had in a while.  First was getting to see a minor league hockey game in Charlotte Friday night.  I don’t really know much about hockey, but the fight towards the end of the game was top notch.  That was followed up by crossing “see a NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway” off of my bucket list.  You can knock racing all you want, but getting to visit pit road and bumping shoulders with the best drivers in the world is an experience that I will be able to carry with me to my grave.  Finishing with some St. Patty’s Day festivities once we got back really pushed this one into the upper echelon of weekends.

Hickory and I are only beginning to scratch the surface of our potential.  We still have our hiccups, such as me getting lost yesterday trying to find my way to watch the Corporate Challenge soccer match. (I never made it there.)  Things like that, though, are important in building our relationship.  It keeps me grounded from the glitz and glamour of cleaning concession stands, power washing, and pulling carpet that work provides.  I sincerely hope the two of us can continue to grow our relationship.  I don’t know how Hickory feels, but I think this could be the beginning of something special. 

Luke is beginning his first year with the Hickory Crawdads as a concessions assistant.  Previously, Luke has worked in baseball with the Akron Aeros, the Cleveland Indians Double A – Affiliate.  He was born and raised in Uhrichsville, OH and attended Kent State University where he earned a degree in Sports Administration and a minor in Business.  Luke has simple tastes, enjoying warm weather, funny jokes, and dancing.

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