I increasingly find my past intruding into my present in strange ways. Part of this is due to coming back to the area I was raised in and went to school in. Neurons are being called upon that haven't been triggered for 20 years. It's almost obnoxious. I'm often not interested in someone that I haven't seen or heard about in 20-30 years. I know it sounds callused, but if I didn't keep up with them when I was on the West coast, why would I want to keep up with them now?
But sometimes strange things happen. My freshman year at Georgia Tech graced me with a terrific roommate, Richard. He was from Connecticut, played bass Clarinet, was a youth conductor, played chess, and introduced me to my (still) favorite classical piece of music – Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. Among other bizarre incidents, I remember coming back for Christmas with Connecticut accent. Strange.
After our first year, He left Georgia Tech to attend Northeastern. We continued our relationship by palying chess via snail mail. Yep, postcards that took less postage than letters. One move per card. Needless to say, it took a long time to finish a game and I'm sad to say we never even finished one. Without the internet, we lost touch.
We've been teaching Evie how to play checkers and chess, and recently we found the remnants of that unfinished game stuffed in my chess set box (30 years old!) in the form of all his postcards. Reading his words, minimal as they were on a postcard, re-fired many of the neurons that have laid dormant for so many years. On a whim, I took to LinkedIn to see if I could track him down. Indeed I did!
I connected with him to let him know his legacy in my life lives on with my daughter. In addition to learning chess, she now also knows a little about snail mail and what life was like before electrons became our communication servants. Thanks Richard.
[written under the influence of Adagio for Strings. Thanks YouTube.]