When I had my monthly newspaper column in THE LETTER, I wrote one commentary that was published in April 2006 about my philosophy on friendships and how I treat them like marriages. As far as I'm concerned they are till death do you part, they are valuable, and they take just as much work, effort and open communication to sustain them and have them continue to flourish.
Most of the time I do a good job of staying in contact with old friends, but for others its been a challenge.
Mes Deux Cents has a recent post on her blog which talked about an old friend of hers from first grade that moved away and from time to time she thinks about her and wonders how her life turned out.
That got me thinking about some the peeps I was friends with BT (before transition) and AT (after transition) that were close at one point, and they either moved away, I did or we drifted apart.
While I was living in H-town I did find myself running into my classmates that stayed in Houston to either attend college or still lived there. Some, like my fifth grade classmate Clyde Drexler (yes, that Clyde Drexler) it was impossible not to know what they were up to and how their life turned out. Others it hasn't been as easy to get that information.
Some of the people I knew in earlier grades I got reunited with in high school or college. Others I would see in a news story, like my old junior high school classmate Vonda Higgins who became a HPD undercover officer and was shot and left paralyzed after a 1998 drug bust went horribly wrong for her and her partner. Other I heard about when they ran for public office, or were featured in news articles good and bad.
Mes Deux's post had me reminisicing about a girl named Stephanie King who was in my fifth grade class as well. I frequently found myself during my airline days being reunited with my classmates from grade school, junior high, high school and college. There was one time I was reunited with a girl I had a crush on in elementary school during my uncle's wedding in 1990. She was the wedding coordinator, and I discovered she worked at the airport for US Customs when I went to work a few days later. There were others I ran into at various clubs during the 80's and early 90's. My junior high classmate Kimberli I used to run into when I was accompanying my mother on one of her shoe shopping forays at Wholesale Shoe Warehouse. Some of those reunions became even more interesting after I transitioned.
When Stephanie's father's job transferred him to San Antonio, she ended up moving there just before our Christmas break. One day in 1989 between flights we'd been having one of those 'I wonder what my old classmate is doing' conversations in the breakroom and I excused myself to start working a San Antonio flight.
During a little down time in the flight I found myself wondering what happened to her when this beautiful tall, sister walked up to check in. She mentioned she was visiting relatives and old school friends in Houston. When I asked her what school, thinking she'd moved in high school, she mentioned she moved in fifth grade.
I remarked to her as I checked her in for the flight that I had a classmate who'd moved to San Antonio in fifth grade when I was at Frost Elementary. She raised an eyebrow for a moment, then called me by name. I glanced at the name of the passenger record on the computer screen in front of me. It was Stephanie. I didn't recognize her at first because she used to wear glasses in elementary school and the stylishly dressed sistah standing in front of me wasn't.
She and I exchanged phone numbers and we talked off and on for about two years before I lost track of her because I lost her phone number when I moved to my new apartment.
There are others I haven't seen since high school and in some cases junior high school. There are others I met during the early stages of my transition that I find myself thinking about as well. I find myself wondering how their lives turned out, and hope they are happy and healthy. I even find myself wondering about some of my old teachers as well at times. It's a major reason I don't miss a high school reunion and the big 30 year one for my class is coming up in 2010.
Well, if any of my old classmates, co-workers or friends happen to be surfing the Net and stumble across this post, hollar at me. As you can see by this blog and the number of posts I have on it, I have much to tell you.