When I first learned to drive, my friend Seth and I took a short roadtrip to visit my cousin Becca at Ball State University in Southern Indiana. She introduced us to all of her friends, including this guy named Joe. Joe was an icon: incredibly tall, equally large personality, always had a camera, and seemed to be involved in everything. When Becca took us on a tour of the university, we saw Joe in the distance going to class. When we went to a house party (my first time playing beer pong; though, to be clear, I didn’t drink at the time and forced Becca to take my drinks for me), Joe was there leading rounds of shots. When we went to brunch, Joe happened to be eating at the same restaurant. The long weekend was great and a good demo of what college life was going to be like in a couple years. When it was finally time to head home, Seth and I headed out of town and within 20 minutes of driving we were
- completely surrounded by corn fields, and
- completely lost.
This was before we had Google Maps, so we’re just parked on the side of the road trying, staring at a printed out map, trying to figure out how we got lost so quickly and what we should do next. While we’re sitting there, we see the corn on the other side of the street starting to rustle. Any guesses on who pops out of the cornfield? Yep, Joe; still with his camera.
If Seth and I had been less shy at the time, we would have flagged Joe down and gotten directions, but instead we were very weirded out, decided to just pick a direction and see what happened. We found out later from Becca that Joe just happened to be doing a photo shoot for journalism class, but the randomness of the moment given the many thousands of acres of corn surrounding us will always stick with me.
Many “Children of the Corn” jokes have been made in the years since.