A (not so) brief history of me, John Leschorn... (Part 1)

So it seems that others have an itch to review their lives in some detail, so being a follower (ha ha) I'm going to to the same...

Born December 18th, 1977 in Port Jefferson, NY. My birth-mother was 16, a junior in High School, I spent several months in the care of the state of NY. My parents tried for several years to have children, but could not. They started the process to be approved for adoption and several months later got the call that they were approved not for one, but two children, twins.

I spent my younger years in NY and FL, we lived in good neighborhoods in both places, I spent alot of time running around with my pals, playing neighborhood football, swimming, building forts, the kinds of things boys do.

Being a "practicing" Catholic, I had my first communion went to CCD (Yeah, they didn't call it Catacisim (sp?) in my parish. In fact I never heard the word until I was an adult...) By the age of 12 I was ready for my confirmation, by this time I was sure that I was in the wrong church, but didn't understand other religions, so I thought that God must not be the real deal...

In Winter of 1992 Eastern Airlines, my fathers employer, filed bancruptcy. It was a cold and sad end to a good company, when it came down to it, flight attendants wanted a couple of more dollars an hour, so they went on strike, pilots followed, mechanics followed, the airline folded, everyone lost their jobs.

After 8 months of searching and sending out 70+ resumes, printed on our Commodore XT computer, he managed to land a job in Indiana. So off we went to where the corn grows. What a culture shock! Being east coast people we had never seen so much farmland and so much open space. We almost moved to Danville, IN, but my mom had somehow heard that the HS had a drug problem. So we moved further out in the sticks, Rockville, IN.

What can I say about Rockville, well the people were kind, very friendly, with the exception of most of my classmates in the High School. You see, I had already developed a computer geek persona, and in Rockville, computer geeks were, well, unknown. I was too straight laced for the alternative crowd, not "manly" enough for the Jocks, to grounded for the drama crowd, well you get the point. I made a few friends in my freshman year, but overall HS wasn't a very friendly place for me.

At this point, those who know me well are waiting for the predictable part of the story... They have all either heard it or lived it. Well I'm gonna tell it anyway...

About 1/3 the way through my freshman year I had managed to get into the English classroom during lunch and study hour to play a game that I really liked (the english class had a 486 computer) for those who care the name of the game was Castles. In the period just prior to the study period a young man named Will expressed an interest in what I was doing, as he liked Medievil stuff also. So with that common ground a friendship was born... and the rest is history... just kidding.. :)

Well, over the next several months Will became my closest friend and ally, we hung out together at lunch, and found that although we were both "outsiders" we did better as a team. I would on occasion have a "girlfriend" and do my own thing, but Will was always my friend and I could depend on him.

One day he asked me to come to a church activity, this sort of scared me, I had determined in my mind at that time that God must not exist, as I was raised Catholic and did not see truth in that religion, and my world view was, well much more narrow then it is now...

I begrudginly went to the activity with Will and his family. At the activity I met Corey (a fellow geek), Cali, Shiloh, Kendra Hall and several other members of the Brazil Branch. It was very early spring and we played capture the flag, (yeah, Dad, that is where I ruined your binoculars). Well, at that point I was pretty much hooked, these kids befriended me and accepted me into their social group with no strings attached. They loved imperfect me from day one.

Time passed, I gradually got more involved in this group of friends. I would sometimes attempt to strike out on my own, but most of my other friends were fair weather, they would come and go, as the different social groups would change over time. My friends from the Brazil Branch were always there for me.

By the middle of my Sophmore year I had started attending scouts with Will, of course, I was not a boy scout and really didn't want to spend all of my time on merit badges and the like. Apparently the Lord knew this, just prior to me beginning to go to scouts a man, Darryl Cunningham, was called to be a scoutmaster. I came to learn from him what it meant to be a priesthood holder, he gave freely to the scouts of his time and energy, and I think I can safely say that to some extent he treated us like his own boys. We loved him and still do. I owe him much spiritually and personally. We had many campouts, shot many clay pigeons and a substancial number of service activities with him.

Just a few weeks after starting scouts Will asked me to go to Church with him, at this time I was still unsure of my beliefs, but he had introduced me to a whole new world, people that loved me for who I was, so I decided I would go. I went and appreciated the services, and enjoyed the loving faces of the people I met, so many to name. This was the golden age of the Brazil Branch of the Church, many weeks we had over 50 in sacrament, quite a feet for a rural town in Indiana.

Well, I had to broker a deal with my mom, I would split my church attendence and go with her every other week. Although I was still ignorant of the Mormons my heart was converted through the love that was shown to me. Unfortunately my parents didn't see it that way, from about 15 1/2 until about 17 3/4 I had an uphill battle. Honestly although the years were tough, being split between two years, the battle itself refined me and my faith. During that time I was allowed to attend Seminary, to my knowledge of the Gospel I owe Sharon Herrington a great debt. She faithfully taught a routy group of teenagers who were not by any means overachievers, discussing and teaching the scriptures in a way that made it easy to understand the gospel and its application in our lives.

Somehow in the second 1/2 of my high school career I had begun to gain the respect of some of my otherwise not so nice peers. Will and I had somehow managed to grow our group of two to about 6 in school. (doesn't sound like alot, but when the total population of the school is 300 from 7 - 12 grade, it is...) We had befriended a few in the alternative crowd, I think they appreciated how "real" we were, not putting on a show for anyone. The Jocks seemed to leave us alone, probably partially b/c we had physically grown and simply hadn't backed off when they taunted us in the prior two years.

During this time I grew spiritually very quickly, I had the opportunity to serve others in the Church and out. My friendship with Will and our mutual friend, Rodney, became much closer, we may not have been brothers in blood, but in the gospel our bonds were strengthened. I also spent much time with my dear friends, Corey and Cali, a whole summer pretty much running around in his pickup truck. (perhaps their was a little competition for Cali's attention... who knows...) I got my license and was able at this point to do even more, as I didn't have to depend on others for a ride. Come the fall of my Junior year I had a car, and worked at Hardees (actually I started working at Hardees when I was a Sophmore...)

Where to go from here....

My first prom was with one of the most special girls I have ever known, Shiloh, we had a blast! I believe it was her first prom also! It's kind of funny but most of my memories of the prom are actually of the after prom party and the day after....

The day after. I almost forgot, as I sift through my memories, a fateful day was our after prom date. We (Will and I) went to turkey run, with Shiloh and Cali and being good mormons (well I wasn't quite yet), we really didn't pair off. Although as usual, Cali and I got into conversations, perhaps as the expense of our friends, (Sorry. Will and Shiloh). Will got a little frustrated (this is from my perspective) and rightfully so, as I was hogging his date, and started to run ahead. Well me being the competitive guy I am ran after. (NOTE: For those who would listen, never run after an elf in a forest...) Well he took the high road, I followed. I slipped and fell. 30 feet off a sheer cliff onto solid rock. I had been at that spot 1/2 a dozen times, never had that problem. Well I hit the ground somehow on my feet, but the force of the fall slammed me on my back, when I came to will was over me, I believe Shiloh was on the ground praying/crying and Cali had gone for help. (I'm a little fuzzy on this guys, so please don't be offended if I switched some people around...) Will prayed over me, and in a few moments I had gained my wits and was able to get up. My back hurt terribly bad, but I was walking. So we went home.

The next day I went to church, in pretty severe pain, recieved a blessing and was able to function. I few days later I spilled the beans to my parents, they had me get an MRI, the Dr. said that I had compressed two vertibre, but that a bridge of bone in my spine was in tact, and that it would heal and I would be ok. He told me that I was very lucky. ( I know better.) No luck was involved, faith and the power the Priesthood are what kept me walking.

To be continued...


  1. Come on.. you were pushed off that cliff. roll with that story. ;)


    wow, danville vs. rockville.. I don't think you could find a single HS in Indiana that did not have a drug problem, there just wasn't any escaping it. Anyway, glad you ended up in Rockville, John, had a heck of a fun time!

  2. Good stuff, good stuff! I'm enjoying it thus far.

  3. Yeah, I remember when you slipped over the side of that cliff I let out a scream the sound of which I will never forget.