Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Cheese Stands Alone

Yesterday at work I got pulled into an ad hoc meeting that had started to take shape in an odd way. Minerva pulled in Bruce, who pulled in Howard, who pulled in Tri, who pulled in me, who pulled in Zebing. It was like an urban office version of “The Farmer in the Dell” -- but without the singing.

Well, I did try to sing, but they all stopped me rather quickly.

I started thinking about “The Farmer in the Dell” and realize that I hadn’t played it since my early grade school years. I always remember that when the “farmer picks a wife” you could tell who the guy playing the farmer had a crush on. Of course, they’d often just pick the prettiest girl in the class.

Thinking about the prettiest girl in our class, I remembered this cute blonde girl that most of the boys in my class had a crush on: Samantha May. Her entire family moved from the little town of Levack in Northern Ontario down to California when we were in grade 4 or 5. It kind of made sense that the family moved there - both Samantha and her older sister Amanda were the exact stunning blonde beauties that you’d expect to see in California. I haven’t thought about her in years (after all, by the time she left the school yard after telling us she was moving, I’d already turned my crush on one Pamela Robinson -- a crush that lasted at least three years, which to my young mind, was a lifetime. I found myself wondering what Samantha has been up to since those early, early years. (I do know that Pamela, who I did know throughout public school as well as high school, is living happily ever after with her husband and two children in Southern Ontario -- because her mom, the first woman whom I’d looked at as a possible future mother in law, was at our place about a month ago) -- I mean, after all, my buddy Pete did find a chum from Britain and an old university friend quite by accident via posts on his blog. So it is worth a mention.

That, of course, got me to thinking about my best friend during those same years when most boys had a crush on Samantha. Morgan Stewart. My best friend, my best buddy. A very cool dude who lived on the next block from me (so, by the time I was allowed to cross the street on my own, I could go play in his yard). Morgan and I were actually blood brothers -- yes, I know, my wife is cringing at the thought of two kids with a knife cutting their hands and then mixing their blood, but we saw it on a TV show, likely Grizzly Adams or something, so we thought it would be cool. Morgan’s family moved to British Columbia about the same time that Samantha’s family moved.

Morgan returned for a week’s visit when we were about 12 or 13. It had been good to see my old buddy again, but it was also strange, because, as happens in childhood, a few years can see a world of difference and a lot of change. He’d become this worldy street-smart city kid, and I was still this small town country bumpkin (actually despire living in Hamilton and working in Toronto, I still see myself as this geeky country bumpkin). Basically, it felt like he’d learned so much, done so much and experienced so much -- while I had been doing the same old same old in his old home town. That’s how it felt anyway. I’d always looked up to Morgan, always learned lots of cool things from him -- but it had felt like he’d suddenly grown in leaps and bounds while I remained mostly the same. Certainly an interesting experience for my young mind to digest.

Morgan and I continued to be pen pals for a few years (yes, remember a time when, to contact a friend, you had to break out a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper, and stuff it in an envelope and mail it? Actually, it wasn’t all that long ago when you think about it), but as our teenage years advanced, the letters slowly tapered off.

I’ve thought about Morgan from time to time over the years, but, even with the growth of the internet, etc, I haven’t tried searching for him. But I thought it would be neat to talk about him here, put out the feelers, so to say, and wonder if this “message in a bottle” on the internet ever finds it way to him.


Pete Mitchell said...

I genuinely hope your "messages in bottles" all reach their intended destinations. You're one of the world's best and I'm sure they would all be proud to renew your acquaintance.

Franny said...

There are so many people I remember from my childhood - you've given me some inspiration. Good luck!