The Last Time

Posted: September 12, 2015 in Fiction

The last time I saw Chuck Smedly occured in 1973 just after he went off to college in Fort Collins, Colorado. We both had graduated from Denver area high schools and I decided that venturing out into the world, for the next year, might serve me better than jumping back into a classroom.

I got a call that he wanted me to visit so I went, shaved head and all. Yea, I shaved my head. I’d decided that my normal hippie length hair didn’t give me the high-fashion look that I wanted to project. I remember driving over to meet my friend and spent the day surveying the campus. Dressed in my best bell-bottom jeans and far-out t-shirt, I was asked numerous times about my profession and religious preferences.

“Are you a Hare Krishna?” Several people asked.

“Semper Fi!” A few of the on-campus meat-heads called out.

Chuck never seemed embarrassed about my appearance and we had a great visit. It turned out that would we not connect again until the dawning and growth of the digital age.

I’m sure many of you have used various apps to search out old friends from college or high school at one time or another. Let’s Facebook it, there are many ways to connect today: LinkedIn, Facebook(yea, I used it twice in the same sentence—so what), Twitter and that annoying site just to name a few of the better known applications. The ability to connect with those lives that have touched ours has never been easier provided you have some technical savvy.

I’ve managed to reconnect with several people that I have searched for, on and off for several years, because of my own internet presence and it has been a fantastic long distance reunion with each one. It made me realize that our connection went both ways; I touched their lives too!

So it came to my attention a few weeks ago, that I got a new email in my LinkedIn inbox. For those not in the know, LinkedIn is like Facebook but geared towards business and business connections. I took a few minutes out of my workday to check and see what amazing new job offer I would find from one of my contacts but, to my surprise, the note came from my high school buddy—Chuck Smedly. Yep, forty-two years later we reconnected. How awesome is that?

It appears we’ve both rounded out a bit, my hair grew back (most of it any way), and we both have fifty shades of grey (no, not that awful book) marking our once youthful locks. I sent back a note telling him I’d be traveling to Greeley, Colorado in October and asked if he had time to get together. We’ll see if it works out.

We all know the lives that have touched each of us. However, never underestimate the lives that you have touched, it might just surprise you. I know, I’m surprised constantly.


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