My brother sent me an email he received from the mother of one of my childhood friends in response to an essay he posted on his blog about the death of one of our neighbors when we were young. Anyway my friend found the article when she was googling for someone with a similar name and she sent the link to her mom. Her mom wrote to my brother and he forwarded the email to the family.
It was such a blast from the past for me. I distinctly remember spending the night at this family's home because the daughter and I were good friends in elementary school. I remember her younger brother and sister and her parents. I remember the most amazing Halloween party they had at their house one year complete with a room where you had to walk through blindfolded and touch things like brains (cold spaghetti noodles ) and eyeballs (peeled grapes); I was so terrified and would have never been brave enough to do it if it hadn't been for the reassuring voice of my friend's mom who held my hand the entire time and made sure I wasn't too scared.
Their dad was an English teacher at the high school that my older siblings attended. I know at least one of my sisters had him and possibly my brother as well. I know that my sister had him for Films/Communications and thought he was just the greatest teacher of his era (this was the early 70's so I suppose he was probably very cutting edge for that time). She was really transformed by the way he taught his class.
I think, but I may be wrong, that he had been one of my dad's first class of students when he was a new teacher in the school corporation. Dad would have thought it was great that he had stayed in the area to raise his own family and teach because he was so dedicated to education.
I loved their house almost as much as I loved my own. I still dream about their house, and can probably remember every room as if it has only been months since the last time I was there and not nearly 35 years.
It was great to be able to reconnect with them, and because the mother added the daughter's email address I was able to send an email to her as well.
But that's not all:
Their son now lives in Dallas and has a Podcast that his mom mentioned in her email. Being nearly addicted to podcasts, of course I had to check it out. It is called This and That with Jeff and Gretchen and is funny and topical and, well addictive. I listened to two episodes today and plan to listen to a few tomorrow and the next day and then I will be caught up and be waiting anxiously for the bi-weekly download of the next episode.
Jeff, when I knew him was a brainy, funny, gawky elementary school kid who was already too tall for his age. According to what I have figured out from the few podcasts I have listened to so far he is 6'4" and an engineer, so he has totally grown into his full potential as the kind of man I admire (just look at the one I married).
Am I at that age when looking back brings me comfort? Reconnecting with this family has sure given me something to smile about.