remember Brunswick student
Oct. 23, 2003
The tributes roll
"Megan -- hey
sweety. You are one who is Respected by many, Liked by many and
loved by all. You will forever remain in all our hearts and we
hope to meet with you again some day."
"I never spent
a moment around you when you didn't have everyone cracking up at
your silly jokes. Even though you're not here with us you can
still make us smile."
the same without you. I remember you always lit up the room with
that glowing smile of yours. Even though I didn't know you as well
as I would have liked, I knew you well enough and missed you lots.
You were such an optimist ... nothing was ever that bad to you. As
I read everything that people have written to you I get to know
you better & miss you more.
"Megs, I miss
you so much. I know you were in Maryland for a short time, but it
was long enough to change anyone who met you. You had a way to
make a bad day go right."
These are just
a few of the praises written for Megan Anne Bolton, a 17-year-old
Brunswick High School student from Adamstown who was killed in a
car accident last summer.
friends in the Brunswick area and in the community where she grew
up -- Camp Hill, Pa. -- have written pages upon pages about her on
www.friendsofmegan.com, a Web site Megan's family started to honor
Dr. Dana G.
Cable, professor of psychology and thanatology at Hood College,
said "in memory of" Web sites are becoming a popular way for
people to express their grief.
Cable said the
method is even more popular among teenagers, whose lives are
integrated with Internet technology.
Cable said a
Web site allows grieving friends and relatives to reveal emotions
that would be difficult to express in person. "It's a way of
sharing and realizing common feelings about the person," he said.
The site is
not the only effort to memorialize the teenager.
father, Gage Bolton, has started scholarship funds in her name at
the high schools she attended in Camp Hill and Brunswick. T-shirts
honoring Megan are being sold to benefit the scholarships.
Friday, she will be honored during a memorial at Brunswick High
A local band
she befriended will play a song they wrote for her, and a weeping
cherry tree will be planted in her name.
A sudden ending
Megan was 17
and about to enter her senior year in high school when she was
killed on July 8.
She was going
to get the muffler on her 1993 Mazda 626 fixed - Megan thought it
was loud; best friend Patty Skaggs thought it sounded "like a
racecar" in the community where her father lived, near
driving from the house of her mother and stepfather, Diana and
Greg Lutz, in Adamstown. She, Patty and their best friend Stacey
Livesay had tickets to a Frederick Keys' game the next day. An
earlier game for which they had tickets had been rained out. They
were excited -- they had made T-shirts to wear to the game
Megan the night before her trip. Stacey never told people she
loved them, she recalled last week in her Brunswick home, but
something made her say those three words to her best friend that
Stacey got a
call from Megan's mother the next day; her cell phone number was
programmed into the family's phone.
Megan had been
driving on U.S. Route 15 in Pennsylvania when her car crossed the
grass median and hit a Ford F-250 truck head-on. Megan was killed
instantly. The car spun into traffic and was sheared in half when
it collided with an 18-wheeler.
driver inexperience caused the accident. They would later say
Megan was driving more than 80 mph.
who spent many hours in the car with her, wonder about that
diagnosis. Patty and Stacey said Megan was a conscientious driver,
especially on the highway.
went 65," Patty said.
hands on the wheel," Stacey added.
friends believe she may have been caught up in a song on the radio
when the accident occurred. Megan loved music and she loved to
belt out songs in the car.
really happened, Stacey was charged with calling all of Megan's
friends and spreading the word of her death.
Ten of Megan's
friends drove up with Stacey's parents to the funeral, which was
held in Pennsylvania. Stacey spoke a few words about her friend to
a packed audience. People had lined up shoulder-to-shoulder to pay
their respects to Meg.
"She taught us so
the only child of divorced parents, moved to Adamstown from
Pennsylvania in August 2002 to live with her mother and stepfather
and their two small daughters, Sarah and Emily.
In her junior
year at Brunswick High School, Megan quickly made friends.
"She was a
positive kid," her father said. "She liked to have a good time and
keep people happy."
"She was just
one of those people who, just looking at her, you just know she
was a friendly person. She just beamed when she smiled. She always
wanted to know how you were doing," said Adam Shuck, 17, who
worked with Megan at the Buckingham's Choice retirement community.
Shuck is also
the bassist in a band called 2birdstone, who wrote a tribute song,
"And Megan," that will be played at Friday's memorial.
17-year-old Stacey when they shared a lunch period. Megan had her
nose in a book until Stacey convinced her to put the book down and
speak up. Their friendship was instant.
Patty met Meg
in a class they shared and they also quickly became friends.
Stacey and Patty had been best friends in middle school but had
drifted apart. Meg brought them back together, and today they're
closer than ever.
In addition to
being a talented field hockey player, Megan loved to write and
planned to enter the field of writing or journalism. Her plan was
to write for the school newspaper in her senior year, study for
two years at Frederick Community College and then transfer to a
larger college in or near Pennsylvania.
Megan was also
a talented student and loved to draw. She was inducted into both
the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society.
Chilcutt, one of Megan's art teachers at BHS, said she had a great
sense of humor and no qualms about speaking her mind.
"I was lucky
to have her in my advanced level art class so that I could see her
artistic talent," he said. "She had talent, and more importantly
she was willing to work hard and improve her work."
Meg, Patty and
Stacey had their favorite hangouts -- Roy Rogers, McDonald's,
Starbucks -- went to dinner every other week and attended many
basketball games together.
"When you went
out with her, it was nonstop laughter," Patty said.
coached Meg to work hard at her studies, Meg taught her friends
about the lighter side of life -- such as the time she and Patty
showed up at Starbucks in their pajamas.
me out of my shell," Patty said.
"She taught us
so much about how to let loose and have fun," Stacey said.
philosophy was 'No regrets.' She didn't like to look back and feel
sorry about things."
motto is now helping others in Megan's name. Her friends and
family are selling T-shirts with the motto for $10 apiece to
benefit the scholarship funds.
There was one
more way Meg may have affected her friends' lives for the better.
On Aug. 17,
Stacey, Patty and another friend, Lauren Blodgett, were in Patty's
car in Salisbury. Patty was the driver and was waiting for a group
of motorcycles to pass so she could make a turn.
The car behind
them rear-ended them at 55 mph. Despite the severity of the
accident -- Patty's car was totaled -- no one was injured.
Stacey, Patty said last week, "I know, you know and we know, Meg
was looking down. She had her hand there, stopping that."
was there in another way, too.
fact that she was uninjured, paramedics forced Patty to lie on a
backboard, head entombed in a neck brace, for two-and-a-half
And when they
were taken to a hospital, for some reason they were taken to the
prisoners' entrance. Patty said the experience was horrible, but
Stacey thought it was funny.
was there laughing, too, they said.
It was Megan's
bright spirit that keeps her friends from crying as they recall
their time with her. They know she wouldn't have wanted them to
the following in a December 2002 poem she called "Revelations":
in our lives so fast, and leave it just the same, these people
teach you who you are, and how to stay in the game."