One of the greatest things about the Internet is how easy it is to find lost friends. In the last few days I’ve been swapping emails with a friend of mine from England who’s known me for almost 37 years. Laurence is a person I met when I was a 17 year old ghetto kid back in the program that was called “The Fresh Air fund”. The Fresh Air fund was an organization that sends poor city kids to camp in upstate New York. I had the pleasure of being a camp counselor back in the day with this organization and it had a sister organization called Camp America which brought youths from Europe to work in the same camps for the summer. I met quite a few people during that summer but Laurence and I became great friends.
Laurence is an artist just like me but he had the privilege to go to university for art. We spent many hours talking about art, music, and life in general. One of my fondest memories of Laurence is the time we had to hike 15 miles through the woods to teach our little ghetto kids all about nature. It was pretty much hell, and at the end of the hike a huge thunderstorm hit the woods. The only cover we had was plastic sheeting; both Laurence and I sat on the floor, tired, wet, and filthy. I looked at Laurence and smiled and started singing the tune “I’m singing in the rain”, the kids that we were watching just looked at us like we were crazy but we just kept on singing and giggling.
Over the years we made an effort to keep in contact, but sometimes things get lost and you just loss contact. Over the last 30 years I’ve written to him about 4 or 5 times an average of about once every 6 years but it has been a long time since I have thought about him. One night I was working on a painting listening to Pink Floyd when I started thinking about Laurence again. We spent many a night talking about that Band, Laurence telling me all about the complexities of the Album “The Wall” and World War 2 in England.
So I jumped on to Facebook and did some searching. Low and behold I did find him; I sent a personal message and BINGO we reached each other again.
So now we two old guys will discuss life, art, love, music, and our lasting friendship over the sea and through the sands of time.
Thank you Internet.