I still remember the notification popping up on my Facebook in July of 2008 – “Grant Castleberry has added you as a friend on Facebook.”
I had just come inside from being out on the beach. Our family was vacationing out on Fripp Island like we do every year, and I had come in for a break from the heat.
Who is Grant Castleberry? I thought as I stared at the computer screen. The name didn’t ring a bell.
I glanced at his profile picture and I saw that he was standing in front of some Japanese or Chinese temple.
Huh, I really have no idea who this guy is.
Though the picture was small, I did notice that he was tall and built and had a huge smile on his face.
He’s pretty cute, I thought.
Before I had time to look any further, my family started coming in from the beach. I left my laptop open, forgetting all about Grant Castleberry.
A little while later, I was standing in the kitchen of the beach villa when my mom asked, “GraceAnna, how do you know Grant Castleberry?”
She was checking her email on my laptop. I had forgotten all about leaving my Facebook page open on Grant Castleberry’s profile.
“I don’t know him. Do you?”
“Yes, you remember him don’t you? His parents helped start CBC before your dad and I came here, back in the eighties. We met them years ago when they came back to visit.”
“Vaguely.” I still didn’t really remember him, though I did have a recollection of eating lunch with his family. I came over and looked at his profile again.
“Well, aren’t you going to accept him as a friend?” My mom asked.
“Yes, I am. I was just trying to figure out who he was first. Mom, random people can add you on Facebook all the time. I just want to be careful.”
“GraceAnna, he’s not random.”
With a click of the mouse, I accepted his friend request and mom and I looked at his profile.
“Mom, he added me on Facebook, that is all,” I said in a very matter-of-fact tone.
I had to admit, I found myself a little intrigued. After my mom got up and left, I looked at his profile myself.
Over 3,000 Facebook friends? What? Who has that many Facebook friends?
As I looked a little further, I did realize what my mom had said was true. His outspoken Christian beliefs were all over his page. I thought that was unusually refreshing. You don’t see that kind of thing on Facebook very much.
And then, I started scrolling through the hundreds of pictures on his profile page. I realized he must have been pretty popular at his university, Texas A&M, because there were pictures that had captions like, “I was this close to Grant Castleberry!”
There were photos of him in cowboy boots, pearl snap shirts, and overalls. There were pictures of him at dances and at football games and in church settings. He seemed like he was always busy and always the life of the party. And he was very southern. A different kind of southern than the Clemson/S.C. southern I was used to. This guy was obviously Texan through and through.
Then I noticed that in a ton of his pictures he was wearing a white uniform. Oh, he was a yell leader. I had heard of that before.
This guy was becoming increasingly more interesting.
All the sudden, I caught myself. What was I doing? Why am I looking at this guy’s profile?
I closed the laptop and instead chose to focus on what was in front of me – enjoying the last few days with my family before I moved to N.C. to start my new job at Duke