Our honoree is Ted Aslund. Ted came to us almost three years ago after Brice and Justin, another part of our Lexington side of the family. Like Brice and Justin, Ted is a Scout. A Life Scout and a patrol leader with Troop 309. But there the similarities end.
Ted is our male free spirit, independent, aloof but quite deep thinking. Sometimes it’s hard to reach that conclusion. Sometimes an adult would stand there and explain something to Ted for a while and Ted would seem engrossed in the conversation and at the end he would blink and say, ‘Now what was that again.’
Ted loved our adventures. He is a risk taker and the more the better, whether snowboarding off a mountain or whitewater rafting or rock climbing, Ted enjoyed the thrills. One of his special joys with our crew was a good hard game of glow stick wars. A couple of the officers reminded me of his special sneakiness and speed that enabled him to excel at that game. He even defeated a crazed female one year at Beachfest who took the game a little too seriously. One year we camped at Dreher Island State Park and held what would later be described as one of our toughest glow stick war games. At the end of the game everyone wondered what had happened to Ted or Adam. Then we heard Ted screaming. When crew members arrived at the beach we found Ted and Adam locked in glow stick wars combat, unaware the game had ended.
But there was another side to him, one of deep faith. For the last year, in fact, he has served as a chaplain’s aide with the crew. And he remains the only chaplain’s aide who has planned and delivered a complete devotion by himself. And he did that last fall to dozens of people at a Cub Scout campout at Camp Barstow. To anyone who knows him, this isn’t a surprise. Ted is a member of the praise band at Lexington Presbyterian Church, a member of the praise band for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Lexington High, a member of the church basketball team and a member of a small group that meets at Lexington Presbyterian on Wednesday nights. His email address sort of sums up his interests: Christian-punk-skater.
Of course, no discussion of Ted is complete without mentioning his car. I can’t remember the make and model but it was a survivor. Sometimes it seemed a miracle that his car made it to the church each meeting. One day when I was driving Ted back from a campout, he asked what year my station wagon was. Then I owned a 1990 Buick Estate wagon, what the kids affectionately called ‘White Lightning.’ Ted was amazed at the age. ‘Wow,’ he said, ‘Your car is older than mine.’
Ted is graduating this month from Lexington High and will attend Erskine College in the fall. We will miss him.
When it came to naming Ted there were quite a few choices. But one seemed to fit his qualities of independence, cleverness, strength and spirit. In the Indian world, certain animals are revered. Some so much so they are repeated in legends and are part of Indian culture. So tonight, it is with great pride that I give Ted the Blackfoot name, Apisi, which means, Coyote. Congratulations!