I related in a previous blog that I am what I call an 'a-social' person. Not anti-social. I don't dislike humanity in mass or in individuals, though I have met a few individuals who may challenge that. I simply do not have a strong need for human interaction. Seclusion is comfortable for me. Even relative isolation. I would make an excellent hermit, assuming that there is some standard to be met to become a hermit.
I haven't really checked.
Knowing this about myself I work against my natural tendency to withdraw into books and games and stories, and have at least some social interaction. As a consequence I actually have a family, and they seem able to tolerate me well enough. I cherish them for themselves, but also for keeping me human.
So, along comes my 40th high school reunion, and I decide to go. Why? Because I was socially involved during those years and longed to renew those old ties? Not really. I dreamed of piloting (or at least crewing) on a star ship during those high school years. Reality did not often intrude on my inner world. I interacted with my fellow inmates of the high school as reasonable politeness required, but did not build a lot of strong bonds.
I went to the reunion because I thought going would be interesting, and I do recall (vaguely) some pleasant interactions with people during those high school years. I went. I am glad I did. I went to school with some very nice people. With the span of our time apart being far greater than the few years we were together, it was somewhat like meeting these people for the first time.
One of my friends from those years, and several years before high school, came and spent a lot of the reunion time with me. Jerry Ross, one of my best friends. He expressed a positive recollection for that friendship, something that I share with him. It was a good friendship. One that we would like to continue, after a small four decade absence from one another.
I also learned that another good friend from those childhood days did not survive to attend this event. Manuel Ortega was a valuable element in my formative years, and I am sorry I could not see him again.
Having moved back to the Rogue Valley after many years away I may have opportunity to renew friendships from ancient days. I may have opportunity to build friendships that ought to have been, were I less engaged in realms of fantasy and my own imagination and involved more with living human beings.
That remains to be seen. I no longer just read about star ships and fantastic realms. I write such stories. With publication beginning in a matter of weeks I may be just as far away as ever.
I hope not. The class of 1971 deserves a better friend than that.
I am currently 62 years old. At present I am a retired correctional officer with 20 years of service. (My real job these days is being a Grandpa.)
I am married to my long-suffering wife, Linda. I have three children; Matthew, Beth, and Jon. I currently have six grandchildren; Alexandra, Madelyn, Wyatt, Lucas, Abigail and Landon.