The Summer of Eternity Begins.....conclusion to hoof prints...... novel by Esteban Erik Stipnieks all rights reserved



It was a changing of the Guard…..any American high school student knew it. For cross-country and track people when the last meet ended at Lewisville a transition occurred. The cycle continued when the last deadline of yearbook occurred. Finally at the Kharma Kafe another point of this transition. Ace learned contrary to popular belief the lowest form of life in high school IS NOT a high school freshman it is a senior after the last athletic event occurred. The last six weeks of school their simply put is a transition seniors continue but enter a dark twilight….walking has beens. Their use their glory their power clearly ends. Juniors start ruling the schools. It is not quite total but seniors lose their value and a feeling of marking time fills life.

The transition for Amnesty International occurred at Kharma Kafe. Kara took the reins of leadership by vote Denton high school would aid UNT in the big global conference held at UNT. Ace with being at camp would not participate. Ace was more than content to play the role of minor lower serf. Cross-country and yearbook were the focus of Ace’s existence. Below them was JROTC and track. Track was something Ace at best had some ambivalence for he did that. Finally there was Amnesty International. Ace was expected to take photos on occasions and do other very minor work but that was it. Amnesty for Kara was her calling.

Kara was a powerful figure in Ace’s life he knew he would not want to date her even if she was visibly attractive she was intelligent. While they had been sparks in English class Kara had been Honors English with her the last two years of his life. Their was among many of the classmates a sincere appreciation and friendship. Kara had welcomed Ace so long before. The discussions of books from Kerouac to Brave New World….Tess and Arthurian legends had been lively. Like all things in Denton everybody in the English class while they did not agree with each other wound respecting the other person. Kara and Ace agreed more than they disagreed. Now over cappuccino on a couple couches at the Kharma Café she had taken gracefully the reins of Amnesty International. The vote was very simple. Kara was the heir apparent and nobody else wanted the job. It would be her role to lead the group and the summer ahead promised to be busy. The group filled out an urgent action and drank another cup of coffee and chatted. It was only finals ahead.

The last period of the day took the form the last four weeks of school of nod wink wink hooky playing. There was nothing to do in yearbook so it was a slide to athletics where runs occurred three days a week and a light workout the other two but that meant very quickly a very early departure. A three mile run took at best 22 minutes. A workout to maintain upper body strength with pushups and crunches or light weights high endurance could be done 30 minutes. The end result was leaving school well before the final bell rang.

Thing started hitting home the last week of school. The last three days were a volley of finals. For Ace it would be a JROTC final the first period of the day. That last final would be the last final of his Junior year he had planned to bike to Krum after two days of TV than enter LLYC. The day was planned out. Ace had to figure his transition into camp which in reality was like falling off a moving train!

The last final was taken JROTC had a short almost humorous final. Ace finished it and headed out he spotted Kara and a mutual friend from Drama. Ace by know was realizing what the significance of the summer was.

The three teens one was a public lesbian gathered near one of the smaller recently planted oaks this one in memory of the student who had committed suicide in December. Above them the sky was almost tan with the ring of fire high and the ozone aided in some part by the fires clearing fields in Yucatan. Ace told the two young women “This is the final summer of our youth may it last forever” the statement would be remembered the rest of his life.

Ace drove home filled a couple water bottles with Gatorade he double checked the tire pressure in his bike and headed out to Krum Texas. He Saw Krum from his bike and than headed back stopping at Northlakes park for more water. The next two days were spent trying to calm down from school it was not too successful finally it was time to pack the car up a Tan 1982 Mercury Lynx for camp.

There were things that Ace would not learn quickly they were some things that had to be experimented with. The drive Ace took did not prepare him early for an entry into camp (It was entirely too much on I-35) It was an early afternoon when Ace arrived to staff hill. It was processing time when Ace realized he had crossed the line between camper and staff. The last summer had been the summer of his youth this summer was the first summer of a new era the staff shirt felt far different than he thought would. Workweek went by fast. During work things quickly happened in Denton…..that would bring Ace back to the world he had memories and that would burn for the next 17 years of his life.



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