I just woke up from a dream in which I was talking to someone I knew when I was five years old. One of the drawbacks of having changed towns every few years is that I don't have contact with any childhood friends. I believe the friend I have known the longest is Laurel Anderson, whom I met when we moved to Rockford, Illinois in January, 1979, when I was 15. Laurel is an artist living in San Francisco with her husband Craig. I met her on my first day at Guilford High School because I was assigned the seat in front of her in English. Our lives became intertwined over the next few years as she talked me into joining the debate team, we went on a double date (or two), we gave the commencement addresses at our high school graduation ceremony, and we went off to attend rival colleges in Iowa. She eventually saw the light and transferred to my university (the University of Iowa), so we got to spend a couple of years there together. I attended her New Year's Eve wedding to Craig a few years later (1990?), but that's the last time I saw her. We recently reconnected on Facebook, along with another high school friend, and Sadie Hawkins date, Lisa Weissbard.
Before moving to Rockford, however, there were are other places and other friends. I first attended Oakwood Elementary school in Plymouth, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis near Wayzata). There I remember John Yngve (or was it J.P.?), Steve Ruff, and Lisa Crocker (my first crush). I used to know more names from that era, but that part of my brain has been taken over by being a parent. By the way, the person I was dreaming about just prior to writing this was Deirdre Hansen, the daughter of one of my dad's friends. I caught up with her father at my aunt's funeral a couple of years ago.
We moved to Dixon, Illinois in 1973, when I was 10. There I immediately became friends with two neighborhood kids my age--Stephan Mayfield (or was it Stephen Mayfield?) and Scott Smith. At school I had a few tangles with Janet Trent, who was my 5th and 6th grade nemesis (blood was involved on at least one occasion), competed with Kim Taylor (who seemed to beat me in any competition), "stalked" a gymnast named Elizabeth Nehls (Franklin), and became best buds with Chris Shaw, Howie LaFevre, Andy Near, and Larry Knicl, whom I think I had an email exchange with about ten years ago. I also rode the bus with Beth Stitzel. Beth later attended Iowa while I was there. I saw her a few times during my freshman year, but we lost touch. It's funny, but I know that there was another girl whom I became obsessed with in 8th grade, and my friends at the time tried unsuccessfully to help our budding romance, but I can't remember anything about her. Oh, how love is fleeting...
It was during this time in Dixon that my family spent a summer in Wagga Wagga, NSW. There I had my first kiss behind the tuck shop with Marie Manning, and I hung out with the Arbuckle brothers and Rodney Waters. I received a message before we moved to Australia last year from a member of the Arbuckle family, as a result of that earlier blog post.
If you have read this entire entry, I do apologise for boring you out of your mind. But, by listing all these names and places, maybe I will catch one of these childhood friends while they're engaged in a little egosurfing. And, if I did happen to catch one of you, please drop me a line before I forget another name!