This blog post begins our 20-Year Anniversary Series. Want to know how NarroWay came to be? Who's idea was it to start this world-class, Christian theater? Get a first-hand account from the founders, K. Rebecca Martin and Yvonne "Birdie" Clark, as they tell their story from the very beginning.
We met in college. I was down a week early for sorority rush.
I was down a week early for band camp.
My third-floor roommate for the year ended up being Rebecca’s roommate for sorority rush. I was running down the steps with my tenor sax, headed for field practice when I heard: “Oh look! It’s my roomie! Rebecca, this is Birdie!”
There was a reason Birdie wasn’t in sorority rush.
All of us giggly sorority girls were vying for acceptance and popularity. Birdie couldn’t care less, or that’s the way it seemed. She gave me a quick glance and an unimpressed, “Hey.” … And she kept going.
I looked at Birdie’s soon-to-be roommate and sarcastically said, “Wow! She’s friendly! You’re in for a treat!” Then we walked into their 3rdfloor dorm room, where Birdie had already moved in. No frills. No Bed, Bath & Beyond organizers. No rock band posters. Just her red, white and blue bed sheets on her bunk and her proudly displayed high school letters: PH.
That’s Patrick Henry High School! We were called the Patrick Henry rebels and my friends and I lived up to the name.
That’s Birdie on the left, with her favorite high school senior buddies. In fact, that’s sorta the look I remember her having on her face when I met her! When I saw the PH in her dorm room, I recognized the letters and the school colors. Birdie came from – gasp - a rival high school.
All I knew about PH was that I had a blind date with a guy from that high school who, after a couple of dates - when I said I didn’t want to see him anymore - set fire to the bridge that leads to my house! Along with several other offenses, he even had someone break into my locker at exam time and steal my notes and books! Need I say more? I didn’t have a good impression of PH.
I wasn’t a bad person, but I did have the propensity to find trouble, much to the despair of my wonderful parents.
I was far from perfect, but I was a Christian. I was raised in church – I mean, like, if the church doors were open, my family was there.
When sorority rush was over, I met my college roommate on the 1st floor, where I lived. I started making new friends and sorta forgot about the 3rd floor rebel I had met.
I made a lot of friends too, but they weren’t the sorority-type and they weren’t Christian. They were rebels, just like me.
Step in … GOD.
I rarely saw Birdie, unless she passed by my room on her way to class. So I honestly have no idea why or when I began thinking that I needed to befriend her. At the time I certainly didn’t think of it as a God-thing. But this is what I did. A few times a week, I would write a silly rhyming sentence, walk up the three flights of stairs, and tape it to Birdie’s dorm room door.
I don't remember if I thought she was crazy or what, but it always made me laugh. Pretty soon, I decided I would let down my guard.
… Maybe I could have a friend, who wasn’t a rebel.