My name is Annie Chapman and I am sixteen years old. I started my life in 1983, in Los Angeles, actually in a suburb called Culver City. From the hospital I moved into a house on Lucerne Ave with my father Alan Berftman, my mother Mary Lee Chapman, and my older brother by four years, Ace. I spent just short of ten years in that same house. While I lived in Culver City I attended a Spanish emersion elementary school called El Rinclon. There I learned to speak Spanish as a second language. A month before my tenth birthday my parents decided to move to the small town of Little Stone. They took ownership of an old hotel called the Winnemucckah. So into the Winnemucckah we moved. I began third grade at the local school called Oten Valley after Christmas break. After living in the big city I was amazed at how small Little Stone was compared to Los Angeles.
After three years of living in the hotel my parents got a divorce. My father then moved back to Los Angeles with an old Army-buddy. Once my father left, my mother, brother, and I moved into a house only a block from the hotel. I was going into I think 7th grade at this time, and Ace was going to Youngton High School as a sophomore. The summer before 8th grade I decided to become a Christian. This was the most important decision I’ll ever make and I made it made it because I believe.
While in Junior High I participated in a lot of sports such as basketball, volleyball, and snowboarding. It was in these areas that I really got to know the three girls who would someday become my very best friends-Christine Grossman, Emily Whitman, and Robin Otanza; they all played sports with me and were also in my classes. In 8th grade Robin started to go to Youngton as a freshman, but our friendship remained.
Ace graduated in 1996 from Youngton School. He went on to Loyola Marymount College for three weeks after which he dropped out and joined the Marine Corps. I was proud of Ace the whole time and while he was in the Marines our relationship grew form fighting siblings to respected friends. When I was a freshman I truly grew to love my brother.
All throughout my freshman and sophomore years I continued to snowboard but stopped playing team sports due to a disease in my knees. I really found a love in snowboarding which I still have. When I snowboard I feel free and without any boundaries. I started to snowboard more than the usual once every other week. I would find ways to go on the weekend too, and whenever someone would drive me. It has become a passion of mine.
Throughout high school I’ve managed to remain friends with Christine and Emily. I had every class with them and would do things with them everyday after school was out. I love spending time with them; it’s one of my favorite pastimes. They’ve supported me in such things as the Lions Club Speech Contest and 4-H and whatever else I would try to do. They are now more like my sisters because I see them everyday.
This year I’m going to a different school then two of my best friends which so far is really weird. I miss seeing them in every class and at lunch. Today was only my first day of school and they were both sitting on my couch before they even had to get up so they could see me off to Lone Pine. I plan on keeping these two friendships the rest of my life.
Along with close friends, I have a close-knit family. I see my father about twice a month at least and the same with my grandma, especially now with my grandpa gone. I love to spend time with my aunts and their families. We always have a blast. My brother and I have maintained our close friendship and even with him overseas we talk a lot more than some of my friends who have their brothers in the house. He’s a great guy.
In my sixteen years I’ve been able to have some very memorable experiences such as traveling. I love to travel and so does my family. I remember that whenever my brother or I would have to write a report on a certain state the next summer our family would take a vacation to that state. When I was younger my family traveled all over the United States. When I was a freshman I was lucky enough to spend three months in Budapest, Hungary. What a life changing experience that was! I loved it! While in Europe I was able to travel to six other countries besides Hungary. Mostly when I took a bus from Budapest to London. Something I’m sure I’ll never forget.
So now as a sixteen year old in little Stone, I feel that I’ve gotten more that my fair share of the many tastes of the world. So far I love my life and all the places I’ve been and all the things I’ve done. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t change my life for anything in the world.
In my life some things have really stunk, I felt like a total punk. When hope was out of sight, I had a brother who stepped in to fight.
I could be in the dumps, really canned, he would always lend a helping hand. He could be really close or not, I could still call him on the spot.
Not only was he there for the bad days, but for the good ones, always, I can’t say we’ve always been on the same track, but my brother’s always got my back.
I could be in any sort of jam some as thick as tar, still he would never be that far.
We used to fight all the time when we were young, then, well then I pierced my tongue. That’s when he went away, he’s never even come back for like a day.
It’s okay now I don’t mind, because my brother I can always find.
I love him more then a lot things, and it’s not only because we’re siblings.
Where ever he is I still see his face, he’s my one and only brother, I love you Ace.