Blasts From the Past

Further proof that the Internet exists to drag all parts of your life into the present: I got an e-mail today on my MySpace account from Stacey, the girl who lived two houses down from me when I was in 4th grade. She saw one of the books in the bookstore and wondered if the author could possibly be the same person. Surprise! It was. A MySpace search later, reconnected. Ah, MySpace. Is there nothing you can’t do?

I’m especially tickled about this because, not to put too fine a point on it, I’m usually the one who is tracking down people, not the other way around. And as it happened, I was idly wondering what happened to Stacey not too long ago, and was hampered by the fact that I couldn’t remember her last name (hey, it’s been a quarter century. What can you do). So she did me a favor by tracking me down instead. So, thanks, Stacey. You rock.

Now, if only I could find my girlfriend from first grade, I could die happy. Deena Fasone, who went to Ellington Elementary, where are you now?

32 Comments on “Blasts From the Past”

  1. In December I was tracked down by two ex-boyfriends from high school, a quarter century on.

    Both, I’m rather tickled to say, were “booty calls.”

    It was quite satisfying to remind both of them that I’m an old married chick these days.

  2. Wow John, that’s pretty cool. I knew her as well
    back in the day, high school, though. Hope all is well with her. One of the things I remember
    about her– she always wanted to ‘practice’ doing
    hairstyles on me (I had some really long hair back
    then…). I think I agreed once but nothing ever came of it.

    Anyway John, if you don’t mind, may I say here
    a big Hello to Stacey?

    Blasting from the Past, Myself—
    B ZEMAN.

  3. Heh. Surprisingly, I have gotten only one “blast from the past” email, despite the fact that I live on the Internet. I can’t say I was too thrilled to get it though, as I would have preferred to forget that the person who left me a message on my MySpace ever existed…

  4. I’ve gotten many blast from the past e-mails. Unfortunately, none of them were for me. With a last name like Wood, there are far too many people out there with identical names for them to find one particular person.

    I did look up my HS boyfriend at one point. I found him easily enough, but never worked up the nerve to contact him – mostly because the internet page I found his name on was the crew that made the movie Vampire Lesbian Kickboxers. I wish I could say I was surprised.

  5. It may have been twenty-five years, John, but I went back into the files and dug out that restraining order, and you know what? There isn’t an expiration date on it.

    Any further communications can be sent via my legal representatives: Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe. Don’t worry, their address will be all over the package they’ll FedEx to you on Tuesday.

  6. Man, is there nothing the Internet can’t do?

    Also, I was kinda kidding. But hey, might as well find out if it is her.

    This poor woman. I hope I don’t freak her out too badly.

  7. Last night I got a myspace message from a girl that used to ride the bus with me in high school. I didn’t remember her at all.

  8. Now, now, Jude. Let’s not be mean. Krissy used to work in real estate, so Ms. Mader’s gig is not too far off from Krissy’s professional experience.

  9. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with realtors. Of course, Krissy’s way cooler now since she started running guns to South American rebels.

  10. You Americans and your capacity for confusing me – what age is first grade?

    Here, kids start school at aged 5 in “Reception”, closely followed by Years 1,2,3 etc.

    John, are you trying to trace a girlfriend from when you were 6?

    My kids have reached years 5 and 3 and have pretty much *dated* (obviously not in a serious way – more a precocious *love you one day/hate you the next* way). If they plan looking them all up when they’re older it’ll be very hard work. Or then again maybe it’ll be real easy if our 100% surveillance society experiment works out.

  11. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, nostalgic and unshaven

    If I could find the red haired girl from 1st grade that would be a trip. Man.

    I have a pretty good ability to remember faces even of people I meet only once. And I meet people all the time from my high school. It helps in my business where I’ve met 1,500 new people in the last year and they love that I remember most of them.

  12. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, nostalgic and unshaven

    Also, Mrs. Chang thinks my googling ex’s is funny. She’s done it, too, of course, but if I do it then it’s funny.

  13. Chang, if you can remember all their names, I am duly impressed. I find I can remember people’s faces, how they walk/move/talk, even details of their lives, but their names have always escaped me. I work very hard to remember the names, the rest comes easily.

    My best friend from grade school found me a few years ago. It was a very pleasant experience.

  14. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, nostalgic and unshaven

    Steve Buccheit: You know, I remember most of them. LAtely, we have become sooo busy and soo tired and sooo stressed out that I hardly remember what I ate yesterday. And I eat so much, too. Ahem. I’ve had some people after I say to them, “is this your first class with me?” say “No, it’s my third.” Ah, well…

  15. Chang, I hear ya brother. Too busy, too tired, too stressed lately. I used to be good with names, and then I tried to lose weight by drinking diet soda (instead of regular). I can’t handle it, nutrisweet makes me loopy (more than normal). So after that 4 month experiment, I find that names no longer stick. It was easier before that.

    We do business cards for many clients. I find, now, that I remember the names of people we’ve done specialty cards for and can find them easily in our offlien files. Strange that. I put that up there with handling jobs by numbers (series of 6 digits). At first it may seem confusing, after a bit you get used to refering to the jobs by the numbers in casual conversation.

  16. John,

    What does your wife say about this. My fiance gets extremely jelous when I talk to girls I grew up with no less from someone who tracked me down from years back. Basically that would suicide me.

  17. Sam:

    On the list of things my wife is concerned about, someone I knew from the 4th grade saying hello to me on the Internet is really way, way down near the bottom. It may actually be the bottom. I don’t know. I don’t look far enough down the list to see.

  18. your lucky you don’t have a suspicious wife…mine would have been calling the FBI on her wanting to know her motives, no matter how far back I knew her. Like I said mine is very posessive.

  19. grhm — In America we use the German word, Kindergarten for age 5, then we go to 1st Grade through 12th grade, and then on to college. Some kids go to a ‘preschool’ before age 5, but not all.

    I do recall a girl from the first grade who my parents claim I came home from school one day and proclaimed I wanted to marry her. They asked me how I thought I would support her. I was pretty confident I could do it on my allowance. Somehow they convinced me too wait, which was probably a good thing. I have looked her up, though I haven’t contacted her yet; she seems to be doing well, though she still has her last name, so she might be single…

  20. Audrey Eschright – I’m a software developer, community organizer, and activist based in Portland, OR. I founded Calagator, an open source community calendaring service, and co-founded Open Source Bridge, an annual conference for open source citizens. I’m the editor and publisher of The Recompiler, a magazine about technology and diverse participation.
    Audrey

    Whoa. I’ve been meaning to see whatever happened a guy I really liked in middle school. Aside from narrowly missing being blown up, he seems to be doing just fine. Cool.

  21. I had my ten year reunion last summer, and I was weirded out by the sheer number of people who apparently read my journal but don’t comment ever. (There were about four or five people who copped to this at the reunion.) It was kinda flattering in a weird way.

  22. Ah, MySpace. Is there nothing you can’t do?

    Not make my eyes bleed from bad formating? Avoid teen drama?

    Sam

    your lucky you don’t have a suspicious wife…mine would have been calling the FBI on her wanting to know her motives, no matter how far back I knew her. Like I said mine is very posessive.

    Sam, John goes to science fiction conventions. He’s a talented well known author, he’s well spoken, and probably bathes regularly. I just got back from Arisia. That is *not* a place you can go without getting whiplash for eyecandy on the prowl. If you are someone like John, and seek to hook up, it’s not difficult.

    If his wife was an insane jealous sort, he’d have died after Old Man’s War.

  23. Oh my–first love. Mine was Beverly Cooper who at age 5 showed me hers and I chicken and wouldn’t show her mine. She gave me a smooch anyway. After we moved away to another town, my heart was shattered. (My father never understood true love.)

    I met her in college years later and we became close friends. That old connection between us had somehow bore the fruit of friendship many years later. I haven’t talked to her in years and should look her up–a sweet friend and if I sat down with her right now, it would be easy the way it’s easy with those who really know you.

    As for the internet, it’s brought back so many friends from the dead and enabled me to meet so many others.

    My long-time friend Dan is dying. Dan’s a old rock and roll dog from way back and been influential in my music and so much more. I drove to Lexington today to see him. He doesn’t have long left, but he’s ready. God bless good friends, old and new. When they pass, our world gets a little smaller.

  24. Is Stacey’s mother all that you want? After all, it could be argued that you’ve waited for so long. :)

    (Hey, someone beat me to the part of the lyrics that I was going to use . . . )

  25. Thanks again for the clarification.
    Why the systems don’t start with 1st Grade or Year 1 escapes me. It’s the first year in the system, why give it another name.
    Anyway, my first love, hmmm, nothing so precocious, girls were horrid creatures that I was completely uninterested in until my hormones kicked in. After that I discovered that girls weren’t interested in spotty old me!
    Truly, now I know what love really is, my wife is my first love.

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