All a Part of Life’s Rich Pageant


As of 0500 this morning, Jeremy Paxton Chrysler boarded a plane. His destination is his new home in Tampa, Florida. His wife Emily, their unborn child, and their two small dogs are following by road.

I’m going to share a few stories of Mr. Chrysler and I.

The Periscope (Or How Jeremy and Toby Became Friends)

Jeremy and I met as students at Cair Paravel Latin School. A certain history and Bible teacher there had something of a mania for Civil War reenactments. Jeremy and I happened to be seated next to each other on a bus ride to one of these. A young man and woman were canoodling in the seat directly in front of us. This was strictly verboten and shocking within the Christian private school context. Jeremy turned to me and said, “What we really need right now is a periscope.” I replied, “Do not ask me why I have this”, and proceeded to withdraw a collapsible periscope from my front jacket pocket. It can be hard to place a precise moment on when any relationship begins, but I think this can be said to be the beginning of our friendship.

The Skunk

Jeremy and I have shared for many years a common passion for bicycles. At one time we were both members of the KU cycling team. We agreed to join a night-riding event at a local trail in Lawrence, though neither of us owned proper lighting equipment. After crashing repeatedly, we opted to ride back on the levee road that ran parallel to the trail. Jeremy has never been one to ride leisurely, so we were zooming along in the growing darkness. I suddenly heard Jeremy curse, and from the corner of my eye saw a small animal go tumbling off the side of the levee. Jeremy had run over a skunk, and the skunk had responded in kind. My eyes watered as we rode home in Jeremy’s car. Jeremy’s bike had taken the brunt, and it remained outside for over a week.


Jeremy and I were roommates for the first two of my years at the University of Kansas. During that time, it is an understatement to say that we played a lot of Mariokart 64. We mostly played competitive 150cc GP’s. I always chose Peach. Jeremy always chose Yoshi. What can be inferred from my choice of identity as the princess of the toadstool kingdom and Jeremy’s as a dinosaur who wears boots? I cannot say. What I can say is that during those thousands of imaginary races Jeremy and I discussed everything from the fundamental fallacies to the reproductive difficulties of pandas. Jeremy and I could do things with green shells and bananas that approached a level of gravitas which could hardly be appreciated by anyone else.


One day toward the end of my career at KU I was getting some gas at a filling station. Jeremy and Lucas rolled up out of nowhere. This was odd, considering they both lived in Kansas City by this time. With little ado, Jeremy scribbled a small diagram on a napkin. Jeremy’s art skills being what they are, it was essentially a triangle with some random heavy lines through it. I was made to understand that Jeremy, Lucas, and Dan were considering me as a fourth roommate at Jeremy’s newly acquired home. I was being propositioned to live in a closet, literally–a small, triangular closet. I agreed immediately, and never regretted it.

Jeremy introduced me to Ayn Rand. He introduced me to Björk. He is the courageous optimist to my realistic curmudgeon. He is the gadfly. He was the last person from home I saw on my way to Kenya.

I have misgivings about Jeremy moving to Florida. I don’t care for that state, personally. But I’m looking at it as an adventure for Jeremy, Emily, and their first born. When Jeremy and I rode trails heavily, years ago now, Jeremy always rode in front. His athleticism and competitive streak would pull him ahead on straightaways. My balance and technical riding would catch me up on hills and difficult sections. Because of this, I always had a great view when Jeremy went into one of his trademark amazing crashes. I have seen him do both front and back flips at speed. I have seen him ride halfway up a tree. Jeremy always came out of it on his feet, with style even. That’s my boy in a word–panache.

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4 Responses to “All a Part of Life’s Rich Pageant”

  1. toby Says:

    This is a direct quote from the wiki article on panda reproduction:

    “Breeders and biologists often experience difficulty in inducing captive pandas to mate, threatening their already diminished population. This problem may stem from the captive bears’ lack of experience. In an attempt to remedy this, some keepers in China and Thailand have shown their subjects videos containing footage of mating pandas. In some cases, the bears have been sufficiently stimulated from the videos to engage in reproductive activity. It is not likely that the animals actually learn mating behaviors from the video; rather, scientists believe that hearing the associated sounds has a stimulating effect on the bears exposed to it.”

    Are we, as a species, feeling okay about this? “Reproductive activity”? Seriously.

  2. The Sage Says:

    The inevitable scattering of the tribe. Yea, and what a wondrous tribe ’tis.
    I hope young Mr. Chrysler is not like Scott & Lorri were when they moved to Orlando and hated it. They moved back to Topeka in 6 months.

    However, being the gregarious A-type that Jeremy is, Florida may indeed seem like Paradise. It is a veritable conclave of barbarous entrepreneurs.
    Have you ever seen “King of Miami” on Mojo? Case closed.

    We love you Jeremy. And we will envy you every August. That said, we do not want the traffic. However, if you remain close to your PC, that should not be a big problem.

  3. Perfume « AlmostEverything Says:

    […] on two consecutive overnight train rides through France, I read the novel Perfume, on loan by one J. Paxton Chrysler. It was captivating to say the least and quickly made my Top 10 list. Last week I rented the movie […]

  4. Debbie Weber Says:

    Jeremy, I was so excited to see the article on life’s journey. I was able to hear all about Jeremy. I have not seen you since you were a little boy. Your mom was my best friend.
    My husband and my 16 year old live by the book Ayn Rand. They also love biking. I would love to hear about your and Emily’s life. Do you have children? Please tell your parents I think of them fondly. My greatest hope is one day we will be able to spend some time together again. Please know you and your family are always welcome to my house in the Bay Area. Blessings to you and yours, Debra Weber

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