To fully appreciate today’s topic, you need to understand a few things about my background. If you find it boring, that’s because I am boring. But that’s a topic for another day.
I grew up the only child of a Christian minister. Because my parents adopted me directly from the hospital back in the olden days, I know absolutely nothing about my birth parents except the fact they were artistic (but who knows in what way?) and had an eastern European heritage. I don’t even know their medical history.
My parents both died during the latter 1900s, and I have only a handful of relatives left. I barely know the ones on my father’s side, and I don’t even know where the ones on my mother’s side are, even though they theoretically live in the same city I do.
In short, I’m a sixty-seven-year-old orphan who’s extremely thankful to have such a sweet and loving wife. But that’s not what this post is about, either.
I’ve had plenty of friends over the years, but—with moves from state to state and city to city and even from church to church—I’ve lost touch with most of them.
What’s happened to my past?
When I first discovered Facebook, I couldn’t imagine what a gold mine it would prove to be. At first, I only friended the people who belonged to my current life.
But then I caught on that Facebook could be a window to my past. Sure, not everyone I used to know was on Facebook, and sometimes the women didn’t include their maiden names in their profile names. But I started to catch up with people I thought I’d never see or hear from again.
I sang with Will in a folk trio in the early 1960s. That’s us in the left-hand picture at the top of this post. I moved away after graduation in 1964. I saw him again once during the 1980s, but lost track of him again soon thereafter.
But—lo and behold—I had no trouble locating him on Facebook, and we got together for a wonderful afternoon of catching up this past September. He still had the same guitar he’d had in our folk singing days (I’d been through many guitars since then), and we lumbered our way through the song I’d written as our theme song—the first song among more than two hundred. That’s one of our reunion photos at the right.
The second example.
Sally was a friend in high school. We didn’t exactly date, although she came with me a time or two to the folk trio’s performances. I saw her once during the summer of 1965, and then she proceeded to pass out of my memory for many years.
When I thought about Sally again and found her on Facebook, I learned that she now lives in the same city my wife and I live in, and the three of us have gotten together a number of times now. She’s not only become one of my novels’ biggest fans, but has purchased copies to give away.
I can only shake my head in amazement. And deep appreciation.
When I first entered the world of personal computing, Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. In fact, what I thought of a personal computer was actually a terminal connected to one of the Digital VAX minicomputers in the Arctic-frigid computer room.
Now it’s truly personal—all the way to my smart phone and my Kindle Fire.
I have several other tales to share about my experiences with Facebook, but I’ll save them for Part Two of this topic.
Please leave a comment. Are you a Facebook user? Have you found any missing friends that way? Do you have any special stories to share? I’d love to hear them.