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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Locating Friends from My Past

Occasionally, I stumble on information about a person I have know in my life past; sometimes , by deliberately googling their name on the Internet and at other times through a news article. Recently, I googled a seminary friend's name and found out he was no longer in the ministry and was now in Australia taking a course at the University of Queensland, where his wife got a job. He writes a blog Maybe I will drop him a line and give this Texan a "How're ya mate" greeting.

It is surpising what you can learn online. The most startling thing I learned about someone is that while he never married, he fathered a child and was currently searching for her. This fellow is my oldest friend (we met in first grade). I have yet to muster the courage to ask him about it.

Most recently it was a movie review that featured a college friend of mine. The documentary is "Prom Night" Paul Salzman, who I know at college made this film. It is about the integration of the high school prom in Charleston, Mississippi. Morgan Freeman agreed to fund this school's prom if they would hold an integrated one rather than two separate proms. After years of integration, in the South this school and town held on to this remnant of racism of the old South.

Paul like so many Canadian youth of our generation had been interested in and participated in civil rights in the US. Obviously, he has not fully left this behind when on a visit to Mississippi, where he had worked on voter registration years before he stumbled on this interesting story and renewed Morgan Freeman's interest in this school.

Paul Saltzman has lived an interesting life as a film maker. At college, I found him and his brother, Earl, interesting because of their famous father, Percy Saltzman, who was the first person to appear on Canadian Televison. He was during my growning up years the CBC weatherman, as well as an interviewer of some note. He did the weather report with chalk board and chalk drawing the weather picture of low and highs and fronts, etc. His trademark became the tossing in the air , at the end of his report, the chalk and catching it, saying "and that's the weather." On live TV he virtually never missed.

I was always surprised when I visited their home in Toronto how modestly they lived. They lived in a little story and one half cape cod house like we lived in. Either they were not interested in living "higher on the hog" or they certainly didn't pay very well at the CBC and the Dominion Weather Service.

Paul after University stumbled on an interesting story. He went to India to "find himself" and came to stay at the same Ashram as the Beatles. He has had for years a collection of candid photos of this experience of hanging out with the Beatles. Not long ago, he published them and wrote a little about this time in his life.

Paul's interest in India became very personal when he married Deepa Mehta, who has become one of Canada's most celebrated film makes. She is best known for her trilogy of films "Fire", "Earth" and "Water".

It is always interesting to learn that friends have lived productive and interesting lives.


At 12:30 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

When we somewhat belatedly got our first tv, Percy used to do the weather on Tabloid, which later became 701. He put on an amazing performance, and their wasn't much space left by the time he finished with his map.

At 1:38 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

I completely agree with you that it is fun to look up, or find out about, old friends or colleagues.
Our lives certainly do take different paths, don't they.
And sometimes we choose a path based on a whim, and it makes a life change.

At 6:07 p.m., Blogger Tom said...

I have one or two friends that have 'done well' as the saying over here goes. But mostly because of the way I lived my past life the friends I had back then went on to commit crimes, took drugs and such like... I count my blessing that at certain times in my life someone as come along at the right time and pointed my in a better direction. I have an old friend from 50 years ago that I resently found out had died of a drug overdose in a prison cell... The lad at a very early age in life had so much going for him.. I last saw him in the 1980s, he was a real good looking lad, had a great job in engineering... how sad to think of where he ended up.
Ican well understand your pride and happiness of past friends doing well... I just wish more of mine had been pointed in other directions at the right time.

At 7:17 p.m., Blogger Berni said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my post. It is amazing how many folk you find on the internet or at least people you knew about. The wildflowers are lovely right now I love to watch the fireweed blowing in the wind such a glorious pink wave.

At 1:00 a.m., Blogger Clare said...

Enjoyed your wildflowers, Philip! At my daughter's urging, I joined Facebook (mainly to keep up with the younger generation and my nieces and nephews). Much to my surprise I've also made contact with some high school friends. You might give that a try and see if you find any friends you are "plugged in" too.

At 1:01 a.m., Blogger Clare said...

WHO are plugged in.... geez, why can't I see typos until after the fact? =;)

At 3:55 p.m., Blogger Loretta said...

Philip...It's all ways nice to find old friends. I'm all ways surprised that they are so old!

I don't know if I missed a post or not, but how is Dave and June doing?

At 3:47 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I love learning about my old friends...but the operative word is OLD. (so many of mine have passed away!)
BTW...It would have been fun to have you tag along on my car jaunt through NY and Vermont. Lots of rain but a great time, all in all.

At 7:34 p.m., Blogger Gretchen said...

It is amazing what you can learn with a few keystrokes! I google my name and can't believe all that's out there. Politicians use my work on their sites and NEVER ask for permission. Drives me crazy. It's worse when people steal my photos. They are how I make my living, but that's a whole nother blog post.

I found my best friend from high school when her son added me on Facebook. She had a stroke and barely survived. We now talk regularly and I plan to go visit her soon.

There are so many good things about the net, that I truly think they outweigh the bad. Yeah, it makes it easier for low lives and porn dealers, but that's always been around.

At 8:36 p.m., Blogger amelia said...

I also love being in touch with old friends. It's a little more difficult because I did my schooling in England and now live here but I have found one or two. The one I really want to find is my best girlfriend from high school. She went to Australia and we eventually lost touch. I'd love to be able to find her...


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