“ALEXANDER RAWLINS–A STUDENT, HIS GIRLFRIEND, & A TIME WELL SPENT IN CALIFORNIA” by Alex Croney
Those who know me well know that I spent some time in Los Angeles, California, shortly after getting my
associate’s degree in December of ‘89. What they don’t know is why I did it in the first place.
It was all because of a girl. Abigail Houston. She was hottest girl in my creative writing class and the only reason I
looked forward to going to school during my final semester at Fulton Community College (Atlanta, GA). Abby is a
5’2” brunette with “ol’ brown eyes” (to quote a Full House episode title) and a heart that’s contagious. You would
think that she was somebody impossible for guys like me to hang out with, but the complete opposite of that
happened. Abby turned out to be a very good friend and somebody I could rely on if I needed anything.
A few months have passed, and our friendship turned into a romance that involved bashing teachers, weekends of
traveling, and me donning a distinctive red bandana. For the record, Abby’s parents didn’t care what she did, and
they didn’t know that she and her light-skinned boyfriend* were often late to class.
Once the semester let up and I got my degree, Abby and I were headed to her birthplace of Los Angeles, California,
where we would make our residence in an apartment complex near Paramount Studios. It was during my
California days with Abby that life was more enjoyable than I thought I would ever experience.
Abby had been friends with the up-and-coming musician Alexander “Sasha” Rivera since high school, and she had
gotten word earlier that Sasha was in the process of putting together a live recording for sometime later that year.
Abby wanted to check out what her friend was doing, so one Sunday afternoon in January, we made our route to
nearby Burbank to meet Sasha and company at Palmer Community Church. Sasha was just as Abby described him:
a talented musician who was a down-to-earth guy. I mean, he was a killer on the drum set as well as at the helm
of a gospel choir called the Lakeview Project. Quite impressive if you ask me.
When I met Sasha face-to-face after the rehearsal, we talked about everything related to drums, girls, and this
thing called life. It was only a matter of minutes before Sasha asked me to share the drum kit with him on this
recording of his called Innovative. I was struck with excitement, and with Abby’s full support, I said yes. I’ll tell you
more about Sasha later; I promise.
If anybody that knows me well is curious as to how I ended up endorsed by Zildjian Cymbals, that was Abby’s
influence as well. She knew all too well that Zildjian was (and still is) my favorite cymbal brand, but that’s another
story for another time.
What was the most interesting part of our relationship is Abby telling me that she had a son while in high school.
Unbeknownst to me, the bass player of Sasha Rivera’s band is the boy’s father and Abby’s ex-boyfriend. I told Abby
I would love to meet little DJ, but she initially protested that idea on the grounds that her ex’s then-wife would not
approve. By the time March rolled around, Abby got the OK from Dwight Harrison to bring me to his house on the
condition that it be done while the Mrs. wasn’t home. That Friday afternoon, we arrived at the Harrison family
home, and when Dwight brought his and Abby’s two-year-old son to the living room, I couldn’t help but be struck
in awe. He was so cute, and I’m sure Abby felt the same way.
I would love share more with you folks about my adventures with Abby Houston, but as I write these words, I have
a choir rehearsal to go to in a few.
See you next time!
ALEXANDER RAWLINS is a musician and educator who gets a kick out of following his passion for music and building quality
relationships. When he’s not directing bands at Seaside High School, Alex can be found spending time with his three-year-old
daughter, Alessia, as well as playing the drums at Woodward Community Church. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Alex currently
makes his home in Wilmington, North Carolina.
…and no, he is not dating anybody at this time.