I remember him. More than 40 years on, I remember the boy who seemed golden. Tall, handsome, smart, charming. Popularity came naturally to him. I was friends with a girl he dated. That's as close as I ever came to the cool clique.
When Facebook came along, I realized it would be fun to look up people I went to high school with; heck, why stop at high school? I've now "friended" and been friended by people I went to kindergarten with.
One thing leads to another and before you know it, some of my high school FB buddies are talking about a 40th high school reunion.
A committee gets formed (thanks, folks, for volunteering your time), Save the Date notices go out, along with a "Missing" list, i.e., the names of our classmates that no one seems to have an address for or knows what happened to after graduation.
I didn't recognize many of the names (funny; I never thought of my high school class being so big that I didn't know everyone). Then I noticed a word next to some of the names: Deceased.
And there was his name. The boy I remember as so handsome and confident and popular. Gone forever.
Maybe that's the downside of these techno wonders like Facebook. You find long-ago friends. And you lose them.
The last time I saw many of my high school classmates was the night of our graduation. Pre-gray hair. Pre-grandkids. Pre-divorce. Pre-building a career, traveling the world, making huge mistakes, getting second chances, becoming the person you're destined to become.
Kinda like to remember them that way.
So, here's to you...
...and all the sweet souls of '71 that have flown off to heaven. Go Yellowjackets!