Shout out

The Talon Theater network is buzzing. I’m now in touch with Kris Kelly and Cathy Carey, the 2 who directed “The Curious Savage”. Those two New Yorkers are in touch with a few more people from TT.

Behold the power of the internet in connecting friends. Actually, I did write about that once. I submitted my article to my high school alumni newsletter, Wings, but I don’t think it was published.

Well. Here it is.


The Internet Connection

There was a guy in my graduate class named Josh Mooney. I didn’t think about it too much at the time when he introduced himself in class. After all, there can be a lot of Mooneys out there. Half way through the semester, Josh and I got to talking. We found out that Josh also graduated from SMHS a couple of years before me, and we had some same teachers. It all added up when Josh told me he is Leah’s older brother. By a freak chance, I’ve established a connection with someone from my graduating high school class.

Sometimes friends who were separated found their ways back to each other—perhaps it was with the help of the higher powers, or it was fate. Then again, there are some people like me who appreciate what fate may hold, but don’t rely too much on it for such reunions. Instead, we put our hands on the optical mouse, lay our fingers on the ergonomic keyboard, and entrust the data stream of our internet connection to find the missing links to lost friendships.

When I started at USC in 1995, I transitioned smoothly into the wonderful World Wide Web with the aid of a friend from France. By the second semester, before everyone jumped on the Internet bandwagon, I was already familiar with using emails, and I had a website running.

One day there was a message in my email box from Don Calkins. He said that he was in the military (or something), and had some downtime so he was looking me up online. He found my website so he wanted to say hello. It was a total surprise, and put a smile on my face for weeks. Some people would go a little further just to get in touch with a friend. With that short time connection with Don as my motivation, I embarked on the search to connect myself with other friends—from those I grew up with in Thailand to those in my SMHS graduating class.

At the time, there was not much for me to go on on the Internet. Webcrawler wasn’t crawling much further, and no one had any information posted anywhere. Then came ICQ, equipped with nifty little directory search. I started inserting the names of my friends from Mater Dei School in Bangkok. The searches turned up ICQ numbers and email addresses, so I fired off messages out to my girls. After years of being away from home, I was suddenly in touch with my long-time friends! Since then, a handful of girls have grown into a group of one hundred internet-savvy young ladies, with me acting as the virtual glue holding them together via a website and email group. Being somewhat of a computer geek does have its advantages.

Several search engines later, I found the joy of Google. It took me quite sometime before I perfected my search skills, and for more websites start turning up on these searches. The first thing I did was to look up SMHS to see if the school has caught on with technologies. It did. Then the next person to look for was Mr. Don Osterlund, my senior year Economics teacher and a good friend. Mr. O. left SMHS to teach abroad sometime after our class graduated, and I lost touch with him. So I Googled his name, and turned up a website of an American high school in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Our beloved Mr. O is teaching Economics and coaching volleyball in the Middle East! I sent him an email, and we have been in touch ever since.

Against my better judgment—and Nora Jans’ calling me a stalker—I also Googled the Boy, who shall remain nameless, I had a mad crush on in high school. I found his name in an article in some local newspapers—a band review. So I found the band’s website, and so I emailed the guy. No reply. Gee. What a surprise. Some things just don’t change after high school.

The quest for lost friends still goes on today. Thus far it has given me a lot of joy, and put several smiles on my face. It makes sitting down to check my email more of an adventure than a chore. With the way things are nowadays, there is really no excuse for not keeping in touch with someone any more. An email address can be looked up. A name can be Googled, and information can be traced and found. From how I see it, life is just too short to not to make new friends or reaching out to lost old friends.

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