During my senior year at GMHS, I felt rather like Luke Skywalker. Not only was I a whiny, seemingly useless guy from a barely civilized outpost that no one had ever heard of, but I was also the last of my kind. I was the final representative of a proud and powerful tradition that stretched back well before the mysterious "Clone Wars." (Or in my case, the tradition stretched back into the equally mysterious "1980s.") Okay, so maybe that tradition was little more than being the resident creative weirdo at this particular high school, but I took that responsibility pretty seriously. And I was certain that I would be the final chapter in this saga. Sure, I had found lots of interesting people — we always seem to attract those — but no one that I would call "Otter worthy." So the line ends with me. So be it.

Only, as in Star Wars there was another — a previously disregarded sibling. Certainly not my younger brother, who had his moments of strangeness, but for the most part tried much too hard to conform. Not Data's sister, who I understand was quite the looker. (Hey, that's just what I heard.) I'm talking, of course, about Adam.

Somehow, we never really thought about Adam, though once the subject came up, there was never any resistance. He was the obvious choice to carry on the legacy — and he had the added advantage of having been present for more Otter history than perhaps any one of the rest of us (except maybe Mark).
Shortly following my graduation, I found myself bringing Adam to Pennsylvania with me for a summer visit. It was during that car trip that I realized our future was in safe hands. In just over three hours, this tiny 14 year old displayed an expert knowledge of every obscure geek thing I could throw at him. He indulged in random silliness for its own sake, such as the 24 hours or so when he pretended the letter "A" had been removed from the English language. Adam, Mark and I spent many an evening staying up till dawn, playing the Star Wars roleplaying game, shooting the never-seen "Young Bounty Chronicles," planning the never-filmed "Zak McCracken," and, perhaps most importantly of all, pissing off Steve.

Not long after that, upon my return to Maryland, I discovered that Adam had almost literally experienced puberty overnight. His height had doubled, he sported those wonderful random scraggly chin hairs and his voice had lowered an octave or two. He also had a regular entourage with him at all times — not just the couple of regular friends he'd hung with since early childhood, but a sampling of Great Mills' prettiest and most bizarre. A gathering of cool and interesting people in the Darin basement on a regular basis, only Mark was still out-of-state. When he left me, he had been but the learner... now he was the master.

Now he's just some guy who hasn't posted on this board yet. I saw him out in California only two months ago, so I know he's still alive. Previous experience suggests he's doubled his height again and reached a new plane of social and creative awareness. Maybe he's this "Yao" we've been hearing so much about.
 


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