His goal in life was to be a photographer. I hope that wish came true for him, and that he is able to be one still.
I have grown to despise Google when it comes to searching for old friends. One discovers that old lovers have died within the past year, or that your best friend in elementary school has died mere weeks before you typed in his name.
As bitter as those blows were, though, the most difficult to take in was seeing the face of a man who was once my best friend in high school as one of the “Homeless Artists in Residence” at a homeless shelter. Even after 40+ years, he was still recognizable to me.
Even after I left Zweibrücken American High School in Germany we kept in contact through letters, all the way up to my disastrous first marriage, when I lost contact with so many people. After the late 1970s, we lost touch; the Infernal Internet not having been invented yet, I had no way to locate him.
In the past few years I have been on a search to find a number of folks I have known over the years. Some results have ended happily, and others have have ended with tragic news, as when Google informs me now that men and women I have cared about have succumbed to cancer, or other foul destroyers of humanity.
Or gone to prison.
But it was seeing my friend’s face looking back at me from the computer screen that set me back the most. Death, while cruel, can be accepted on an emotional level. But to see the face of a person who was your lifeline in high school, who had the same interests you did, listed as one of the homeless artists now living in a shelter far from you, is something else altogether.
But even worse was the fact that I was looking at old information; the site was several years old, and trying to find any new information about my friend was impossible. Just this morning, in fact, I tried again to locate any information at all about him, but to no avail. Then, as now, the homeless shelter in question seems to have vanished into thin air.
I can only hope that things improved for my friend, and that, no matter what his personal circumstances, he was able to practice his art.
This one is for you, my friend.
Today’s blog was written to the music provided by Fayetteville’s NPR station, KUAF, which I am listening to while here on Dauphin Island – where it is supposed to be in the 80s, but thanks to the storms all around us . . .
Good thing I brought a coat!
Now on TV – Heather Drain: Incredibly Strange Films
My interview featuring film and book reviewer HEATHER DRAIN, discussing the book “Incredibly Strange Films,” can be seen anytime at:
Quote of the Day
A pat on the back, though only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, is miles ahead in results. – Bennett Cerf