Wednesday, July 22, 2009

HELLO! My name is: max

Note: I wrote this on June 25th and never got around to posting it. I'm posting it now because: A) This is the first time I've opened my journal in a month. B) I like it, and C) Becky, who goes by Rebecca, has become my Facebook friend. I may be Mr. Procrastination, but I am firmly rooted in the belief of fate and coincidences. As an aside to an avid fan, "Sorry Fuzzy. No meat here!"

Usually when I blog about a particular subject, I tell a small story about something I saw or something that happened to me and segue into whatever I'm ranting about that day. A little while ago I wrote an entry in my journal about how patience has evolved out of the American culture and it ended up as a rant about the greedy and corrupt Republicans. I had been trying to write that story for months but I couldn't come up with an opening story that linked me with impatience. It seems that I am the epitome of patient understanding. I finally made up a story but a blog entry based on a falsehood is doomed to fail. Yeah, I could've entered it and you all would've nodded and said "You tell 'em fat boy!" when you finished it.

Like most people, my attention span collapsed like that bridge in Minneapolis. My engineer mentioned that one of my old buddies lives down the road from him up by Waterloo. I thought all my friends had more class than to live near Waterloo but one must've slipped through the cracks. The guy he was talking about is Tom Thrush. I haven't seen Tom in years. Tom's wife, Becky was also one of my classmates and when I think of Becky I think of "class" and "style", two words that have never come up when you Google Tom's name. The reason that I'm mentioning Tom and giving him his 15 seconds of blog fame is that, as I get older, I am more interested in what happened to the people I knew when I was younger. The last time I saw Tom, for instance, was in the barbershop about 10 years ago. Him and Becky never go to class reunions and even Stan Pence probably doesn't have their e-mail addresses. The great thing about blogs and Facebook pages is you see how life has treated those you knew years ago. You have a chance to see pictures of their families, learn what matters. I'd like to learn more about those who populated my youth. My daughter, Shannon, has created the web page for the Garrett High School Alumnae Association and they have a feature where you can update where your life has taken you and tell what you are doing. You can include pictures too. Jenny has updated hers. Not one person in my class has done it.

Think of the stigma it would cast on everyone else if I were the first person in the Class of '71 to enter personal information. Me. Mr. Procrastination. The shame they would feel would be palpable. I'll try not to cause them any distress. Every class reunion brings someone you haven't seen in ages that is a pleasant surprise. Eight years ago it was Pam Cutler and the last one was Marston Greenawalt. Not having seen Marston in 30 years, I had to get his name off his name tag. Like all of us, he wasn't remarkable, just interesting. You look at me and you see someone you knew a long time ago. No big whoop, you say. But take a look at a picture of my wife, kids and their families and you see the pride of my life. You know that I work on the railroad and you think that I've probably coasted through life but look at my family and you see a life that has been lived with a purpose, with meaning, with pride.

I would like to see that of my classmates. Maybe by the next reunion, we could come up with a collection of family pictures, with everyone labelled and identified. It would bring a new dimension to those 12 years we spent together nearly 40 years ago.

No comments: