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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Google leads to cool reunions with old pals

I remember the last time I saw my college buddy Frank we decided this would be the last time we ever saw each other. It turned out to be true. We also knew we would not be talking on the phone either, considering during summer breaks we never did that once. It's a guy thing.

Frank, Rich and I were about as close as you could get as friends. On the weekends we usually found a good party to go to, and we usually did this at the expense of studying. If there was no party to attend we would usually cut through a person's yard to bypass the fence at park where we wended through two-tracks to a place where there was an old train bridge over the river.

We carted with us a case of cheap Huber beer we purchased for $5 and drank and male bonded while our feet dangled over the edge.

We all had a teacher named Mr. Heck for science. We boarded a bus to Chicago to go on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History. We quickly did our assignment and called a taxi. In a sense, what happened next was Ferris Bueller-esque. We went to the Sear's Tower, to an old 54s, McDonalds, walked around the Hard Rock Cafe without purchasing anything but enjoying the melieu of the place, and spent time just walking around the city looking up at the cool, surreal buildings

It was memories like that that, in retrospect, make my time with Frank and Rich some of the greater memories in my life. Sure I didn't get the best grades, but sometimes the creation of great friendships are more important.

In 1993 was the last time I saw Rich. I imagine it was at a party at his Fraternity House. I wanted to join that Fraternity, but I wasn't as cool as Rich, nor did I have the funds to do so.

Fifteen years later we had the Internet. One night I was sitting around talking with my friends in the critical care about how it would be really hard to lose track of great friends this day and age with facebook and email. That was when it occured to me I should Google my old college buddies.

I knew Frank had a job as a journalist out of College, but I was surprised to see his picture over the word "lawyer." I emailed him: "Are you the same Rich who..." He was. I found Rich and emailed him too.

As I was waiting in Tiger Stadium to meat Rich, a million ideas of what he might look like today swept through my brain. Would he be 350 pounds? Woudl he still have that lock of red hair? Would he be unrecognizable? Would we have anything to talk about.

Yet many of my friends who actually had 20 year high school reunions say that people don't look much different 20 years later. Likewise, if you were good chums back then your conversations would take off as the last time you saw him. And that was the case with Rich and me.

The world will change immsely thanks to the Internet, and if keeping in touch with great friends is one of the advantages, then it will be for the better.

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