9.30.2010

Old Friends & Facebook

I missed the Durham High School Class of 1970 Reunion recently. I was officially a 70's graduate even though I was a bone fide '69er by heart. I graduated in 1970 --it's a a long story and has to do with sex, drugs and Rock 'n Roll. Not much sex and drugs. And more soul than R&R, come to think of it.

There's just something about reunions...I don't go to my college reunions, either. And Good Lord, there has never been a family reunion that included my shadow. I guess I want to be remembered as young and full of spit and vinegar, like James Dean or Elvis. I'm not making that comparison, mind you, but whatever I was it ain't what I am now.

I like remembering the girls beautiful, innocent and pink-cheeked. With tight skirts. And tight sweaters. In their prime. Forever. Willin', but psychologically unable, unless you lived on Orient Street and then all bets were off. How I envied that panache.

One beautiful lass who corresponded with me via FB wrote "Oh, Tommy, the drummer with the Beatle haircut!" Goddamn, I hope that's not all she remembers. My memories of her (of us) are more...cerebral.

And the boys, I want to remember them cruising in pristine GTOs with red line Uniroyals, thanks to Daddy financing the ride. Or in a three speed on the column four-door Plymouth that was more than ten years old, if Momma stayed home and didn't work, too. Or my pal's MG Sprite.

In my dreams these boys wear Madras Gant shirts that would bleed, Scotch grain Weejuns and Corbin pants a little too tight and short in length. An Arnold Palmer alpaca sweater for every day of the week. With color co-ordinated monograms on the collar of a Gant 100% cotton button down. Smooth... Sixty days same as cash at the Young Men's Shop or Van Straaten's. Daddy just needed khakis or one suit and Momma had her house coats. There was a weird pecking order. Still is. What are your kids driving?

Facebook is an interesting phenomenon. I'm beginning to understand that Boomers and even their moms and dads are embracing FB as if it were Tops Drive Inn, The Blue Light or Honey's. If you went to DHS in the late 60's you remember those places. See and be seen. Keep up. Ride around in that GTO. Awesome.

Tell us everything! In detail. Via the world wide web.

I just finally replied to two wonderful people who sent me a FB message some time ago. Back in March I think it was, I was dragged kicking and screaming to the FB sign up page. I don't even remember who it was that browbeat me into signing up, but at the time it seemed like a fun thing to do. "You can re-connect with your high school friends." I can? After forty frickin' years? A little creepy, maybe. But that's just me. And I can't explain why.

Still, I owe a couple of replies. To good, good people. That I admire and remember fondly. I really would like to do the Facebook equivalent of screamin' and shoutin' and signifyin' about just how grand things were/are. But I can't. I don't know why. And why I can blog without that dread is a mystery. Do any of you 69'ers or 70's folks remember Antigue? In the Hi Rocket? Maybe that's why bloggin' doesn't seem as creepy to me as Facebook. I'm a columnist at heart, I guess. An observer of wonderful nows and thens. And tomorrows. Not so much a participant as an observer. At least not now.

So, just please know that now that I've put this blog address "out there", via Facebook--if you land here and read this (whether I've replied to your message or not) I cherish our mutual memories, our collective place in time, our quddity, our essence. High school was a bitter-sweet time for me. Maybe better for you. I hope so. It is what it is.

And this I know: I am nothing without you all. I know that. And I relish in it, every everything, and I absolutely and positively bask in the priviledge of knowing you, being some small part of your life, "back when" and in being remembered by you. But I won't be on Facebook anymore.

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