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Ready. Set. Jump.

November 15, 2012

My name is Dawn Welch and I have lived.

I lived through my teens with more innocence then most but have such fond memories of youthful events.

My brother allowing my best friend, Amanda Ingram-Martinez, dress him up as a girl to entertain us. I’m working on someone else there in the forefront. My mom gave us this idea because our sleepover was so boring. This picture is super special because not only are me and Amanda still amazing friends but my brother, Shawn Longacre, has since passed on. Just another reminder of how important it is to live in the moment and make memories.

My friendship with Melanie is as strong today as it was back then. Just the beginning of how important relationships would become to me. My house was located on Yukon Avenue and wasn’t much but we sure had some great times there.

Shawn and I went to the prom as friends this night. We had a great time. This being my forth time to go to a prom. I saved money and Molly Ringwalded this dress worn at my Sophmore prom. It was cost saving and looking back the night was so much more important then the cost of the dress or even what it looked like.

The MORP dance was prom spelled backward. The idea was that girls asked the boys and you picked the bad attire and drove horrible vehicles. Mel and I picked our dream dates and they both said yes. We were overjoyed. Me and my date, Rod, wore hospital scrubs supplied to me by my nurse grandmother and Mel and date were dressed as break dancers. We drove an old car my mom had, it was a tank. It rained all night and the rusty holes in the roof and floor kept us wet all night! It was so fun. We always made the most of time.

Melanie thought it would be a great idea to hire me a stripper for my 16th Birthday!
He showed up for lunch where we frequented, Ken’s Pizza, because we also worked there. Many Many of the school friends were there and I was so embarrassed. It still to this day is the first and only time I ever truly was surprised.

Sparkles was a gig started because my boss, Maurie Gingell at Ken’s Pizza, left it to me to compete with Chucky Cheese Birthday Parties. I created Sparkles,the clown. I learned simple tricks and did balloon animals. I’m very thankful to have accepted Maurie’s challenges at work it has made me very successful. Creativity and fun should always be at the forefront …. Even at your work. I did this gig all the way from high school until my daughter was one. She was terrified of clowns and still is…. The boys in the picture, Mitch Wright and William Brown, worked with me. The stopped by my house after work most days. They are still great friends. I’m blessed to have kept so many friends.

I felt in such a hurry for this day. I felt so grown up. After all, I had finished high school, worked for 5 years at Ken’s Pizza, worked summers at Whitewater, and was a successful runner. I could conquer the World. Looking at this picture. I see such bright eyes and smile. I’m thankful to have not lost that and hopeful that my future is as bright from here as it was then. Here we go …. and Jump.

I lived through my 20’s slightly less innocent but had so much fun. Travel and self discovery at its forefront.

I willed myself my dream job at RCCL and quickly found myself traveling the world’s most exotic gorgeous places. This is one of the lock’s on the Panama Canal. I am one of the dots onboard.

Not only did we see these amazing places but we also had great comradeship with the crew. I quickly became the go to person for shipboard parties. On one ship they even sent out a note insisting we go out and visit the passengers more because we started staying in so many nights because we had loads of fun together.

We were in the Pursers Department. My position was the most petty officer. And I loved the job.

Because I was in charge of the ship’s pager system. Many times I would send pages out to everyone not working and have a themed party. This one involved old time 50’s music. Again…. Creative Work Fun! Remember though… We lived onboard so the two had to be mixed!

Even my second persona, Sparkles was able to travel and perform. RCCL found out about my clown skills and used them. Again… Thanking Maurie for making me ambidextrous in my work.

I lived through my 30’s knowing it all and having all of it implode and resurrect. Career and child rearing at its forefront.

February 14, 1993, I began my love affair on the Mother Road one burger at a time. A youthful 24. I had no idea the journey that was before me.

I had traveled up and down the road in this car on my American tours before settling down at the Rock. It was sold after my second child as there was no time to invest in this sort of travel with a business and two children. A MiniVan would replace it.

Alexis was born in November of 1994. Her birth would anchor me even more to the road and blossoming cafe. It was the discovery of simple living in small town USA and the world at large found us.

Paul was born in 2001 near the time I remodeled the Rock Cafe and began meetings with Pixar. The children were able to spend just about every moment with me at the Rock and they always found ways to pitch in.

I was able to keep myself traveling and did it on and off the Mother Road. This is the Blue Whale in Catoosa, Oklahoma and while not too far there is always adventure to find even in your own back yard. Especially on Route 66.

I always took time to travel with the kids. This is Alexis on the beach and I’m pregnant with Paul. I would mingle work with vacation. This is the trip that the Rock’s Alligator Burgers were discovered and I learned the Art of True Coon Ass Cooking. (Cajun)

In 2008, The Rock Cafe burned to the ground save the Rock Walls and “Betsy”, the Wolfe grill. The most difficult obstacle to navigate but not the only one.

As my 40’s flash before me, I know less and dream of more wondering if Fear will still me from discovering. Career and child rearing almost complete, I begin dreaming of new possibilities dealing with the Fear inside of re creating once again The Life.

Most of you will know me from my illustrious career on Route 66 the Darling and the Villian of the Rock Café. The Rock Café has been located on Route 66 for more then 70 years and my love affair with this spot has been one lasting 20 years and seen me through the best and worst of times. The magic of this spot perfectly matched my dreams and with hard work and the shake of a wand, we’ve resurrected and created an island of hope and love to share with the World At Large.

As I move towards this new horizon, I feel obligated to share my dreams and fears because after many years of observation, we all hit this point. A point that sets us on a new course when we conquer the fear of the jump.

I hope you all will join me on the road to re discovery.

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7 Comments
  1. Lulu permalink

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Good luck. I think fate is pushing everyone to a dramatic jumping off point. I think your hopeful spirit voice is guiding you well.

  3. Maurie Gingell permalink

    Follow your dreams my dear friend!! You have always been able to do what you have set your mind to with love, enthusiam, and a zest for life and living it to the fullest. You are an inspiration to many and someone you can call a true friend. I love the girl I knew as she was growing up and the woman that I’ve come to know as she has accompished the goals she has set for herself. I am so very proud of you!! I am looking forawrd as you hop on your bike 🙂 and start the next chapter in your life!! Hold on world the sky is the limit!!

  4. Leila permalink

    Enjoyed it & I’m looking froward to following you in your adventures!

  5. Trevor Hilton permalink

    Hebrews 11:8
    8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

    You may not know what’s coming next, but, by faith, you’ll end up where you’re meant to be.

  6. linda longacre permalink

    What can I say? Nobody could be more proud of a child than this mama is! Good luck and love you bunches.

  7. what a fabulous post this has been. never seen this kind of useful post. i am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. thank you very much. lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails lista de emails

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