On a daily basis I meet new and interesting people on facebook. People I would never meet otherwise. Some from all over Canada, others from Southern states like Florida and Texas, and yet others from the Midwest and far west like California and Oregon. I have even made some great friends from Spain, England, Australia and New Zealand.
In meeting these people, I always try to look at all their pics, to get a sense of who they are and where they came from. In the course of viewing these pics I often notice their pics from a very young age. Baby pictures, family, old houses, pets, and high school.
One of the main reasons I started a facebook account was to look up old school friends who I had lost touch with over the years. I have found many and re-connecting with them has brought great joy to me. Those are the easy ones, the ones you knew well and could be easily found. Others are much tougher.
When I was 12 we moved from Montreal to Burlington, Ontario for one year. So much happened that year, as is want to happen when you are just becoming a teenager. I met a lot of interesting people. Many I remember because I have always had a great memory. However I cannot remember all of their complete names. Some I sort of remember, but not exactly.
Some I do. Here are a few.
Pam Simonston. Certainly cannot forget her or her name. To my memory she was the first girl I really ever liked enough to remember. At first she liked me much more than I liked her. This only happened because my life still revolved around sports at that age and I didn't really notice her. But she noticed me. We square danced in gym class one day, our hands touched and that was it. But being who I was at that age, I didn't really know what to do. I had never really even kissed a girl at that point, so while I wasn't scared, I wasn't very forward either. Her friends would tell me daily how much she liked me, but I never did anything about that. I did talk to her a lot but I never asked her out or did anything that would lead her to believe I would be her boyfriend. One day I noticed that the best looking boy in the class, Phil Roach (I think his last name was Roach), who was also friendly with me, was holding hands with her and they were now dating. When I saw them at the disco dance a few weeks later, it was a tough pill to swallow. Seemed like a lot of heartbreak then, but its just a distant memory and story now.
I tried a few times to look up Pam Simonston on facebook, but alas, no luck.
The problem with finding old friends and people you have known over the years is that on facebook not everyone uses their real names. In addition, many have changed their names, gotten married, divorced, moved, etc...and the search becomes tough. That also assumes they are actually on facebook, which in many cases they are not. Not everyone is. So far, no Pam Simonston, and if I ever do find her, I doubt she would even remember me. Still though my curiosity would motivate me to see how she looks now and what she has done with her life.
I just tried to look up Phil Roach, but there are so many Phil Roach's it may take a bit of effort. That is the other thing with facebook. It is a very big world.
I remember very specifically another girl, although I cannot remember her name. She had carrot red hair, and at times didn't really look after her looks and looked ragged at times. She came to the school in mid year as I did, and she had a lot of trouble making friends. She also was picked on and teased a lot, and many times went home crying. I was one of the few who was friendly with her, and would stand up for her when the other kids picked on her. I can't look her up now because I don't remember her name, although I am sure if I really wanted to I could find a way to figure it out. I would really be interested in seeing how her life turned out. I wonder if she overcame all the hardships that teenagers endure. Some do, some never do.
There were many more I sort of remember although the names are foggy. There was a girl named Tanya. Tanya wore a lot of makeup and she was thought to have had sex with many boys by the time we were in Grade 8. Tanya was a pretty girl, and had a pretty impressive body for a 12 or 13 year old girl, but she wasn't the prettiest girl in class. She was very very popular and when I got to know Tanya a bit, and she once told me that all the talk was just boastful talk of teenage boys and that she had only ever kissed a boy, and no more. She was also very very smart and I believed her. She is another I would like to look up, but again, other than Tanya I have nothing else to go on.
I had a somewhat best friend for the short time I lived in Burlington. I lived in a townhouse complex and one kid, his name was either Rob or Rich Aldrich (I think, I remember it started with an A). We were in the same class and lived only 5 doors down from each other. While I had trouble following through with girls, he did not. I remember one day where after lunch we didn't go back to class and skipped school for the afternoon. We went to the mall, which was across the street and afterwards we both went home. Later that day, I went over to his place and he told me he had just had sex with a girl we both knew at school. I believed him. Whether it was true or not I don't actually know to this day. What I do know to be true is that he also told others in the school that he had slept with this girl.
A week later as me and Rob walked to school, the toughest kid in the school and his buddies met us about half a mile away from the school. Seems the girl Rob had sex with was this guy's girlfriend. As his friends held me (not like I was gonna do anything anyway), the tough kid beat the crap out of Rob. To this day I have never heard or seen a kid get a beating like that. My memory is that he broke several bones and had to go to the hospital. He was laid up and on crutches for months afterwards, and he never said a word to the principal..or talked to that girl again.
There were others I remember from that school. One was a girl named Carlene, who I don't remember her last name. She was also very sexy and hinted to me that she wanted to make out at the disco dance. I never did, but I would always wonder how she turned out. No way I could ever find her either on facebook.
Two other girls struck me during my time in Burlington. One was a girl named Melanie Misko. She was the pretty, smart, stunning, cheerleader type of girl that every teenage boy wanted. Of course none of us ever got near her, other than to say hi. I tried to look her up, but no sign of her on facebook.
The last one I remember was a girl named Jodi Jablonski. Very nice girl. Sweet. Everybody liked her. However, no boy would ever ask her out or to dance. Jodi had one thing that make her stand out in grade 7: She had a very early bloomer and all the teenage boys noticed her. But we were all scared of her. Of all the ones, she is the one I would like to look up the most. Part of me wants to see if my memory is what I think it was, or if it was just the fantasy of a young teenage boy.
Alas, at this point, most of these kids will remain mysteries and fantasies, unless one day they pop up on facebook. I would be shocked if they even remembered me at all, but you never know.
Wouldn't it be great to meet up with people from your past. I spent one year in Burlington. I met these four girls, and have never seen them again. It has now been 34 years, and I sometimes wonder what they look like, or how they turned out.