Tracey Joy Fitz, 1976-2003

To round out my tales of the Herd, I’ve been sitting here trying to think of my favorite Tracey story, but I can’t come up with one. All the little snippets of my most favorite moments with her aren’t really all that story-worthy. We just spent so much time together that everything was pretty much a laugh, full of private jokes that wouldn’t really be entertaining to others.

It’s that whole “you had to be there” thing.

I keep trying to find a way to explain just how hard we would laugh, until our knees were too weak to stand and our bellies hurt and the tears clouded our eyes when we would sneak out to meet up with Josh and Mikey. Mikey would simulate Bass Fishing television shows and sing a song about Betty Lou getting new shoes, complete with air-banjo. See? That only sounds mildly entertaining, but oh the hilarity! The four of us would hunker down at the bottom of a hill so we’d be hidden from any passing cars between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m.

And I know it doesn’t sound entertaining to you when I bring up things like flashlight tag, and eating grape juice concentrate out of the can, and sneaking into R rated movies. It just sounds like the same kinds of things you all did at that age.

There is some definite humor to be had that, for whatever unknown reason, we thought that these outfits and teased hair were “wicked awesome” and that we insisted that we always wore those pants on the same day. Every time.

There’s nothing unique to us as teenagers having parties at her house when her parents were on vacation, accidentally throwing knives into the floor, stealing cigarettes from her dad’s ashtray (EW!) or calling and hanging up on boys we had a crush on (always the same boy, of course).

I remember when we found out that her mom was pregnant when we were in high school (OOPS!), and then staring in disbelief at the smallest coffin I’ve ever seen less than three years later. Those aren’t exactly the fondest memories, except that they’re memories of Tracey, so I hold onto them.

It was great to bump into her one summer years after she went away to a new school and had a whole new set of friends, and going back to her house and partying like old times. The novelty of exchanging cell phone numbers, when having a cell phone number was still pretty unique (and actually was a “cell”), and spending a summer between college semesters hanging out again. That was fun. A grown up Tracey with a degree and a future and a fiance.

Still, even after all that, I will always remember her with big hair, acid washed jeans and Motley Crue. It’s probably not exactly how she’d want to be remembered, but I can’t help thinking of her that way, and all with a big smile on my face. 🙂


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Amyella (pronounced Amy-ella) is a pseudonym for Amy Levitt, a fitness and health food fanatic and a beach girl at heart. She has been sharing her sometimes nonsensical thoughts and self-amusing stories online since 2002 and currently spends a good deal of her time wrangling her 90 pound Rottweiler and 60 pound Boxer. Which is quite a show.
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