I was born on a frigid winter evening in Midlothian, a suburb of Richmond, Virginia, to Jennifer and David Cashwell. At the time of my birth, I had one older brother who was four years old. He’s always been a good friend and mentor to me, and he’s always been someone I can rely on. Two years later, my younger sister was born. She gets on my nerves at times, but she’s a good kid. Later that year, we moved from Midlothian to a quaint town in the western portion of Virginia called Blacksburg, where I would spend the next several years.

I lived in Blacksburg from ages two to six. During that time, I made some of my best friends and happiest memories. I went to a school called Margaret Beeks Elementary, and while I don’t remember a lot about the school itself, I can recall the experiences and memories I made there with my friends that, as a young child, would shape my future.

Near my seventh birthday, my dad, who worked as a hospital administrator, got a job opportunity to run a bigger hospital in Florida called “Osceola Regional.” It was hard leaving my friends in Blacksburg, but we were all very excited about the idea of living in a very different environment and being so close to so many tourist attractions such as Disney World and Universal Studios. The move to Florida was long and tedious but ultimately one of the most important and formative events of my life.

My few years in Florida were some of the best of my life. I made a lot of close friends there, some of which I still stay in contact with. I remember one day I was going for a bike ride in the park, and, as I was exiting my driveway, two boys who lived next door beckoned me over to come play football with them. I did, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life, because from that day, my brother and I became best friends with those two boys. We carpooled to school with them, hung out at our houses, played X-Box, football, went swimming (everyone in Orlando had a pool), and had sleepovers practically every day. But that all changed a year or so into my time in Florida when my parents got a divorce. My dad found a better job back in Virginia and, without the help of a second parent, my mom had to start working again, but that left us without a parent at home. Ultimately, all this caused us to move back to Virginia, to a small town on the east coast that I had never heard of called Yorktown, where my grandma lived.

The transition from Florida to Virginia was hard. It was definitely harder than moving from Blacksburg to Florida was. Saying goodbye to our best friends next door was one of the hardest things I ever did, and I can still remember it vividly. Sometimes I still miss the beautiful palm trees and tropical weather of Florida. I have lived in Yorktown ever since that move, and, as hard as the move was, I really like it here. I’ve been here now for over five years, and those five years have been pretty good, in all honesty. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to two great schools, (Tabb Elementary and Tabb Middle) and next year I move on to Tabb High School. During my time in Yorktown I’ve picked up several new hobbies. I play basketball and I’m currently a bassist for a band in Newport News, as I’ve been playing bass since 5th grade. I plan to try out for the bass role in Tabb High’s jazz band next year. My time in Yorktown has been fun and I look forward to my future here.







Jack Cashwell, Writer

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