I can safely say that at my age, I have no intention of losing anyone. This is not a current phenomenon with me. I have had a purposeful feeling for most of my life, that losing someone is kind of a sin. If you were introduced to someone, you have the obligation of knowing that person for the rest of your life. I am the only person in my family who feels that way.
It is not uncommon to say, apropos of nothing, that I wonder where Rick and Gair are right now. Even though I may not even thought of them in ten years, I fully feel that it is my obligation to get in touch with them and find out how they and their families are doing. I do not discriminate in these thoughts. The person could be a former congressman or the custodian at the high school that I once worked in.
I have no idea why I do this kind of thing. Sometimes, the person that I call asks me that question, “Why are you calling me after all of these years?” “Well, you see Jack, when we were at Fort Gordon together in 1957; you told me that you came from Fargo, N.D. Now I find you in whitepages.com and you are living in New York. How did you migrate?” Sometimes, I get the old heave ho, as people do not remember me or think that it is a come on for selling them a time share.
However, mostly I do get to talk to the person I am looking for. I found a couple of friends from my college days who spent all of the time on the phone complaining about esoteric illnesses that they have. I don’t think that I will call them again. On the other hand, I called Stan B., and we have resumed our friendship. Those are the chances that you take when you call.
On a sad note, when I reconnected with Laurel Montane, who helped me acclimate to public junior high school in 1950, we had dinner in Bethany Beach, Delaware a few years ago. I just found out that Laurel had passed away soon after our dinner in 2011. Once again, those are the chances that you take.