When I was 12-13 I developed a friendship with a kid who was undoubtedly the smartest person I’ve ever known. When I hit 40, I got wondering what happened to many of the friends of my youth. My friend had an unusual name and he was also the 4th generation son with the same name. I like anonymity in these stories but I like them to have some kind of connection to reality, So I’ll call him Rolls Royce the Ford. “The Ford” is the only real part since he was a “fourth” with the name and so I used “Ford” to his face. So, about 30 years after I parted ways with everyone in Florida, I called my old school.
Receptionist: Hello! My Old School, how may I direct your call?
Me: Hi, sorry, I don’t need my call directed. I used to attend there and I’m trying to find an old school-mate. [The secretary’s voice sounds very young, so I’m really expecting a brush-off or run-around. She probably wasn’t born when I was there.]
Receptionist: Well, maybe I can help. What was his name?
Me: Rolls Royce the Fourth.
Receptionist: [Immediately, so clearly not looking up anything] Oh, yes, Rolls Royce. I can get you information about him.
Me: You know him?
Receptionist: Yes. He’s one of our more famous alumni. He was a medical doctor by the time he was 25.
25!? I might normally cry BS at this point, but clearly this person has no reason to lie to me. I get some clues about how to contact my old friend. I make a phone call and get an answering machine. There was an deeper adult voice on the recording, but my friend had a unique lisp that was in the recording. I knew it was him. He returned my call and we had a fun time catching up. I turned out that army took him in and fast-tracked his medical career. I’ll skip the majority of the chat and concentrate on one thing that’s funny and universal: the cute teacher.
Me: Do you remember Mrs. Jungencute, our 7th grade science teacher?
Rolls: Oh, yeah.
Me: I had a crush on her.
Rolls: Dude, we ALL had a crush on her.
Dammit! I thought it was just me until that moment!
Take a little time to reconnect as you can. I suspect that all my dad’s teachers and most of his classmates are gone. Some years back I dedicated some computer software to my favorite teacher. I got in contact with his son and found he was gone already. I picked up a publication not long ago and found my favorite high-school English teacher was the editor-in-chief. I plan on saying hello before it’s too late. And for those of you still in school, look around and treasure the friendships you have.