Paean to Facebook and Friends

While some think Facebook a pain, I’m offering a paean to the behemoth social medium. Here’s my reason: I’m one of those people who has traveled far from her origins. My life has been a great journey, but there are times when I miss the people who knew me “when.” They have been lost from my life. Enter Facebook.

First, I found “the twins.” Sisters Judy and Joyce. During high school, we bonded over a band. It began with a Battle of the Bands that I helped organize for a teen social group. Ever the organizer (my husband refers to me around the house as “vice president of this and that”), I convinced bands from the surrounding area to play for free for the dubious honor of being named “best” in our small town. The band, The Moderns from Rockville, Connecticut, lost the battle but gained a teen girl following that included Judy, Joyce, my sister Jo Ann, and me.

Photo by The Hartford Courant
Roger, Ken, Tom, Wayne of The Moderns
(Photo by The Hartford Courant)

In no time at all, we were logging miles in Jo Anne’s sassy blue Mustang to hear the band play at high schools and local teen (no alcohol) clubs. Every weekend we would dance ourselves silly and have the kind of fun that would seem pristine and innocent by today’s standards. They had girlfriends. We were their fanfriends.

The Moderns — Ken, Roger, Wayne, Tom — dropped out of my life by the time I graduated from high school. By college, Judy and Joyce had gone in different directions as well. The last time I saw Ken, I was on summer break from UCONN and he stopped by my house. I was back home after rousing semester complete with anti-war demonstrations; he was back from Vietnam. We had little to say to each other then.

Jump forward to Facebook. First I found Judy, then Joyce. Joyce now lives less than 20 miles from me – we met up once for drinks when October Run, my novel, was published. We’ve both been through it all: raising families, losing parents, life milestones. But as I sat across from her and we shared stories, I recognized her giggle, her smile. There’s nothing sweeter than knowing someone before life comes along.

Then I found Ken Jolly. I didn’t recognize him on the first pass. A bit of a change from The Modern days. He’s lived his music and moved to Nashville where he married the love of his life. He plays with his own group as well as others. We have been high-fiving on Facebook about everything from pets to food to things of more import. Then I clicked on a YouTube video of him singing. There it was, the voice from Battle of the Bands. The teenage lead guitarist now with a mane of white hair and a gritty soft reality singing “Somewhere, Over The Rainbow.” It made my heart stop for a second. I’d found a piece of my past.

Next week, Joyce and her husband are coming to dinner. Ken says that he may be visiting New England next year. I’m thinking it may be time to get the fans together.  We will never be those teenagers again, but I’m glad we were once.

And what of you? Who have you found on Facebook? Have you looked?

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