Flagler College, my alma mater, started out as Henry Flagler’s Ponce de Leon Hotel. It was an altogether unique experience going to school in such a historic place – especially when tourists filtered in and out of the buildings all day long.
While I met tons of great people, friends that I still keep in touch with and teachers who opened my eyes to possibilities I never imagined, it is most importantly the place where two of the most significant relationships I’ve had started.
The first: Scott. Although he did not attend Flagler, I met him through a friend of a friend of a friend. There were blind dates involved and fate maybe played a hand (if you believe in that sort of thing). The first time we met was on the second floor rotunda. I didn’t want to come out of my dorm room to meet a guy. I was busy that afternoon, but my friend insisted. And as I walked down I caught a glimpse of him from the stairwell. Tall, shaggy blonde hair and looking oh so very young! He smiled and shuffled his feet. He was nervous! He was adorable! And he asked me if I’d like to go on a date.
On our first date, Halloween night, I felt an instant connection. I didn’t feel shy or awkward. I was able to have a conversation and not stumble over my words or ideas. Scott held my hand as we walked around that night and it felt…right. He made me feel special and pretty. Later he told me that he knew that night that I was the one for him. I still shake my head at that. Romantic as it is, it seems hard to buy, but nearly 17 years later, here we still are.
The second: Sara. I’ve mentioned before that we were acquaintances and had a few classes together. I ran into her a couple of times over the summer and then again passing in the halls. Eventually, one day I took a risk and sat down next to her in the hallway while we were waiting for our class to start. I’m not sure what prompted me, but I asked her if she gamed at all, specifically D&D. She looked a bit startled at first, but nodded and said, "yes, occasionally." I told her (all in one breath and rushed) that I wanted to get a group together and game with my husband and would she be interested . Again the surprised eyebrow popped up and she said, “Sure, I know a few other that might be interested too.”
We bonded over D&D, English classes, a crying breakdown in the rain (totally me with postpartum hormones raging and late for a final) and as time passed Sara became, like my other friend Amanda, family; the little sister that I always wanted.
And as a bonus F I give you my favorite Flagler Ghost story: The Face in the Tile
The story goes that upon Henry Flagler’s death he requested the front doors in the lobby of the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) be left open so that his soul could depart. But when he actually died an employee closed all of the doors and windows and Henry Flagler’s spirit became trapped inside. There was a gust of wind and the doors rattled. Some say it was Flagler’s spirit desperately trying to leave. His spirit flew against the door, bounced off and was sucked into a tile.
Many ghost stories about Flagler College circulate today; this one is my favorite though because there is “proof”:
|How about now? Creepy, right?|