In the spirit of what's developed in our little blog group into recounting chance meetings and reconnecting with friends, let's relate more of those stories. Me first.
Rick and I were roommates in our first year at college: me in radio broadcasting, him in aircraft maintenance. We initially lived in different apartments in the same building. He wasn't getting along with his only roommate, and one of my two roommates -- an immature, dope-smoking idiot -- got along better with Rick's roommate, so they traded places.
Rick was a great roommate. He got along famously with Kevin, my other roommate and me. Shortly after Christmas, we moved a classmate of mine in with us. Rob had been rooming at a guy's house, but was getting worried for his own safety. His landlord had a stormy relationship with his girlfriend, and one night, it degenerated into knife-throwing. Rob moved in with us the next night.
At the end of the school year, Kevin was finished his course and left, so another classmate of mine, Glen, moved in with us. Rick brought his pal Jeff into our little group. Jeff was a year behind us in college, and needed a place to live. So there we were, five guys in a two-bedroom apartment. It didn't leave a lot of room for modesty, when all five of us had 8:30 a.m. classes. The shower went on at about 7:00 and ran for the next half hour or so. As one guy finished, another would step in.
One of Rick's classmates needed a roommate, and although our arrangement was going well, Rick knew that him leaving wouldn't be too much of a financial burden on the rest of us, so in October, he left, but we remained close friends.
I was 25 when I started college, so I was six or seven years older than my classmates and roommates. I did most of the cooking. On Mother's Day of first year, after we had all gone home for the summer, Rick called from Ottawa to wish me a happy Mother's Day. "Thanks, I think," I replied. "No, no, Bob," he quickly interjected, "I mean it. You take such good care of me and make such good meals, it was like having a second Mom."
Anyway, after college, we went our separate ways, and lost touch. About 18 years later when I was living in Ajax, I was idly Googling random words one day, just to see where the Internet would take me.
Somehow, I ended up on the website of a men's recreational hockey team in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, of all places. I noticed Rick's name on the roster. It also listed his age, which I figured was accurate. So I emailed the webmaster and said someone by that same name was a college roommate, I'd love to reconnect with him, and would he please pass along my email address, in case it was the same Rick. Sure enough, the next day, I got an email from Rick.
We have stayed in touch via email since then. Two summers ago, Rick introduced me to his wife and their young son here in Ottawa, and I hope to see them again this summer. Rick is an airline pilot in Dubai, and he and Heather want me to visit them there for a week or so. We are planning for that to happen this coming December.
When I met Heather, she said that Rick often talks about what a good cook I am, and that he has been trying to duplicate my spaghetti sauce, which is just ground beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, a can of Bravo sauce, and a can of tomato soup.
Anyway, the Internet has made this world even smaller. Because of that, I have reconnected with a good friend who lives half a world away.
Okay. That's my reconnection story. Who's next?