Summer, The Heat, and Old Friends
July 23, 2011- Well, yesterday is in the record books as the hottest day on record for that day in July since they started keeping such things. It was sweltering, no doubt about it. Sheryl went over to my daughter Danielle's house to pick up Johnny boy. They have no AC because the windows are louvered, so she brought him back here to nap. Grandpa asked him if he wanted an ice pop, and John replied with a big grin and a "Yes! Ice Pop!" The boy never ceases to amaze me... he is just one year old.
Well, he finished his pop, and Grandma took him in to nap. Two minutes later, she was back. "We have no power!" Just John's luck. I called the electric company and went through the usual reporting routine and was told that they would get someone out as soon as possible. "Sure" I thought. "We will have to eat out, and will be lucky if the power comes back on in 6 hours or so. A very short time later, the power came back on for a few seconds, then went out again. A good sign. A few minutes later, it came on for good, and Johnny Boy got his nap. Grandpa cooked a very good meal of string beans and potatoes in garlic and oil, with a nice loaf of Italian Bread on the side. Delicious.
By now, regular readers of my blog are probably wondering where the old, feisty Marine is. Well, he's feeling a bit mellow today. You see, yesterday evening, I was contacted on facebook by my best friend from Elementary School... Tony Calabro. Tony and I were classmates from Kindergarten through 6th Grade. By the end of 6th Grade, Tony's family had moved to another neighborhood and, even though he still attended Jefferson School with me, we lost touch because it was just easier to go to the local Boys Club and make new friends then to keep coming down to the old neighborhood. It just makes more sense, when you are young, to stay near your home. That's the way we are kept safe by our families.
Anyway, through the years, I would ask about Tony, but as the distance in time increased, the news of what he was doing diminished to nothing. I, by that time, had gone on to the Marine Corps, got married and had a couple of kids, and divorced. Time just continued on, but I never stopped thinking about the skinny kid with the curly hair with whom I share so many early memories. I heard that he had moved away, but no one could tell me where. I never stopped thinking about him, but I had no means of finding him, and who knew if he even remembered me?
Then, the computer aged dawned and Al Gore invented the internet*. Slowly, this 'World Wide Web' started to engulf all of us. I resisted getting involved in it, but it was inevitable. In 2001, I sustained what turned out to be a career ending injury, and I was stuck at home. My wife had purchased a WebTV, but soon, that was not enough. I bought a Dell Computer. We still had dial-up then, but after six months or so of waiting up to an hour for each pic to load, I hooked up with Direcway for high speed internet. From then on, it was full speed ahead. Jerry Trotta found me on Classmates and invited me to an irregular 'Fellowship Meeting' of old friends from my teen years. We now meet every few months for pizza and good talk. I found friends and comrades that I served with in the Marine Corps.. my old buddy, Don Radogna, whom I served with both in 'Nam and the states.
My daughter convinced my wife and I to join facebook. Here, we found old friends and got to know people like Carol and Hop Hatcher who were always around when we hung out, but I didn't really know. I found my old friend Greg Williams, or he found me, I'm not sure which. It doesn't matter. The fact that we reconnected is enough. A couple of my old friends found me. Chas Borrelli, my friend and cohort from the seventh and eighth grade. Then, within the last year, I have started finding old friends from school. A few found me. Kathy LaBarbera found me through classmates. We have been in contact for over a year now. I have also found and friended Bernie Orlando Codella and Jo Gallello Short, both of them were with me for at least one year in elementary school. There are so many, and I do not omit anyone by choice, just lack of room. I love them all.
Anyway, that was a long explanation to get to the point of this. Last night, Tony sent me a message on facebook. He wanted to know if I was the same guy he went to school with. Not in so many words, but you get the drift. To say that I was stunned to hear from him after fifty years would be an understatement. We messaged back and forth for almost two hours, talking about the past and some of the things that we did together. It brought tears to my eyes because we were such very good friends all those years ago. I can't remember an angry word that ever was passed between us. Then..... we just lost touch after sixth grade. It's really sad that things like that happen.. but, it's a reality for many of us.
The main thing is, I have my good friend back again, thanks to the internet and Al Gore*. We may be separated physically by distance, but we now can talk to each other daily, if we so chose, thanks to this real modern Wonder Of The World. Tony, I love you buddy, and I have missed you all these years. We need to talk again soon so, whenever you have the time, I'm ready.
So, if you were looking for a rant today... you're bound to be disappointed. But I will say this to you all out there: Think of all the potential good that can come of this World Wide Webb. It makes communicating with each other an easy thing, regardless of language differences. And it makes it easy to bring people who are important to your history, back into your life.
PS: There are so many people that I have re-connected with and there just was no room in this humble post. I want you all to know that I love you all, and I added names as they came to me.