Sunday, July 16, 2006
I realize 2006 isn't even close to being over. But, I know that when I think about this year in the future, there will be 2 things I will remember -- my enra-, I mean engagement, and the fact that I found a long lost friend this year. He said I could use his real name, so I will. His name is Kelly and he was probably the most important and dear friend I've ever had. We grew up together in the 70's, he lived in La Crescenta and I lived in La Canada, and together we did all the crazed things teenagers do, and a little more. Our specialties included throwing eggs at everything that moved, some minor vandalism, doing prank phone calls (See my story, "The Call" on this blog), singing filthy song parodies and drinking any type of alcohol we could get our hands on. We never got arrested, which is a testament to the times more than anything else. I moved to San Jose in 1977 to go to college and Kelly stayed in La Crescenta to coach baseball and work as a service manager for car dealerships, but we stayed close and saw each other whenever I went down to LA for holidays or Dodger games. The bottom line was that Kelly stopped calling because he quit partying in '94 and felt like our relationship in many ways had always revolved around doing copious amounts of drugs and alcohol (which was true). So, he stopped calling me and drifted away. I guess he didn't feel like I would understand or be able to hang out with the new sober Kelly, and at that period in my life he was probably correct. So, the years rolled by, and every so often I'd try to find Kelly without success. I would call around to other people with the same last name living in the same vicinity, but I could never find him. It was frustrating, because I knew he had my parent's phone number and that he could call them at any time if he wanted to get ahold of me. Finally, earlier this year I had had enough. I began to imagine that Kelly was dead. I hated the idea that I would possibly never see him again. I was now ready to do whatever it took to re-find my friend. So, I hired an investigative service through a web site called www.peoplefinders.com. Another good site I used as part of my search for Kelly is called www.batchmates.com. They referred me to a local detective who helped me track down Kelly. When I realized I had his phone number, I almost lost it because finally I had found my buddy! When we talked on the phone for the first time in 12 years, I was so happy! I got in my car that weekend and drove all the way down to LA just to see him. He's been married three times, and life has been a little rough on him as it has for all of us, but he's still the great guy I knew and I'm sure I will enjoy the process of getting to know him all over again.
After this whole experience, I thought wouldn't it be great to produce a reality show where they help people like me re-find old friends? Then I found out Oprah is already doing it. It figures!