This has happened to all of us at one time or another. We send an e-mail to someone that we haven't corresponded with in a very long time. By that, I mean at least five or ten years.
The first and easiest is that the e-mail goes through. The second is getting the email back, as undeliverable.
That happened to me, twice this week. The first was to a radio DJ that I hadn't corresponded with in 14 years, Larry Bear, formerly of WYNY Y107. I hoped it would go through, but it didn't. My e-mail came back, as undeliverable.
The second one was to someone that worked for me nine years ago, Erika; I found a couple of her e-mails. I decided to write and see if she was still around. Nope, that email bounced back as well.
I did the next best thing. I went on Facebook and looked for Larry and Erika. I didn't fine Larry, but I found Erika and sent her a message. I'm sure she will remember be, because I always told her that she was my first and best hire.
I did hear back from Erika later that night. Here's her reply. “Hi Matthew, yes it's me. How are you?” Funny, after all this time she still calls me Matthew. I replied and I’m waiting to hear back from her.
This week I also wrote to an old college friend, Fred. He replied quickly. I actually found him last year on LinkedIn; we started to correspond through there and then e-mail.
It had to be at least thirty years since I’ve seen Fred. It's was as if no time went by once we started to talk. We caught up on friends and family. I hope that we'll see each other in the near future.
Fred had two friends that I became friendly with, Debi and Norman. He knew both of them from school for a long time and we all hit it off. In fact, Debi and I dated for a while, but since I was in Long Island and she was in New Jersey, it was hard for us to "go out on a date." We always tried to do something special.
Debi and I first met at party Fred through, at his apartment in New Jersey. We ended up going out to her car to make out. The funny part is, when I related this to Fred, he didn't know about that or that we even went out together. Either that or his mind is going like mine.
Anyway, special dates were just that, special. Debi had tickets to see the original Broadway play "Dreamgirls." She took me. Another time she was apartment sitting for a friend who lived across the street from Central Park. We had a sleepover.
Another special date was going to a concert at the then Brendan Byrne Arena, at the Meadowlands, in New Jersey. One of my friends from work, at the time, was talking about getting tickets to see Lionel Richie and the opening act was Tina Turner! That was her comeback, "Tiny Dancer" tour, and of course, she was fabulous.
Time and distance worked against us and things just fizzled shortly after that. So time marches on. Fred gave me her info; I found her on Facebook and sent her a message. I still haven't heard back, but from the looks of it, she doesn't go on there much.
I figure if I don't get a message back in a week, I'll call and say, "Surprise, remember me? I’m Fred's friend from college who you made out with in your car at one of his parties?" I wonder what kind of response I will get.
Fred had Norman's address, but not a phone number. I tried looking for him on Facebook, but no luck. I tried a couple of websites, but they want to charge for a report and I'm too cheap to pay for them. I asked my long-time friend Steve the PI to see if he could find it.
One thing about Norman that stands out in my mind was something he did the day of Fred's wedding way back when. The ceremony was in New Jersey, but the reception was in some hall right off the Throgs Neck Bridge, in Whitestone. Norman was driving in front of me and went through the tollbooth. When I got to the booth, the guard waved me through; he said, “The guy in front of you paid your toll.” At the time, it was only $5 or so, but it was still a nice gesture. I lost touch with Norman the same time I lost touch with Fred. I always wondered what became what with him.
I had heard a number of years ago that Fred was working at a New York City television station. I sent someone and e-mail there, asking them to pass it on to Fred. I never heard back and forgot about it.
When I spoke to Fred the other day, I told him that story, and he said that no one ever gets messages if they go to a general mailbox or such.
Right now, I'll work on these and hope for the best.
My advice however is simple. Good friends are hard to find and it takes work to keep them. Don't let time and distance lose a friendship.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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