High School Memories Via Email

As I remember, he also put the Model ‘A’s’ transmission in backwards, giving the car one forward and three reverse speeds! My memory could be faulty, but it’s a good story anyway.

I got an email this afternoon from Howard Epstein in New Hampshire. I don’t know a Howard Epstein in New Hampshire, but I did know a Howie Epstein in Flushing. Same guy.

Oh, Internet. You’ve got the power (you may sing that sentence if you wish).

Howie and I went to high school, Brooklyn Tech, together. But there was something that stood out more which I remembered. Howie knew his way around mechanics and cars.

That was totally foreign to me. We lived in an apartment with limited off street parking available, even if I could have afforded a car (and I couldn’t). I took the bus. I took the subway. I didn’t get my drivers license until I was 19!

Junior or senior year, Howie bought and then rebuilt a Model ‘A’ Ford. Granted, cars were pretty simple in the Model ‘A’ era,. but that was still a substantial piece of work. His email tells me there were more after that, though none recently.

As I remember, he also put the Model ‘A’s’ transmission in backwards, giving the car one forward and three reverse speeds! My memory could be faulty, but it’s a good story anyway.

There is no one from high school I am in contact with on a regular basis. I suppose that’s sad. I didn’t go to the neighborhood high school, so it’s also understandable.

The Internet allows people from your past to find you. So far that’s been nothing but positive for me. So far.

Blogger’s addendum: In a follow-up email, after seeing some video, Howie said, “Would never have recognized you.”

So, it seems I’ve changed in the last 40 years.

My Classmates Experience

I read a listing of the most popular sites on the Internet and saw Classmates.com listed. I was surprised. Last night, before going to bed, I went and took a look.

I signed up for a free account and began to systematically look at every listing from my high school and graduation year. It was a huge school. My graduating class had nearly 2,000 students.

Through the A’s, B’s C’s and D’s – nothing. No friends. Not even a recognition of the names. Didn’t I know people? It’s possible I didn’t, as there’s no one from high school I’m still in contact with.

Finally a few names rang a bell. I just couldn’t remember if we were friendly, or I just knew the name.

Howard Epstein was there.. Was this Howie Epstein? Is this the guy who rebuilt a Model “A” Ford, putting the transmission in upside down? Am I even remembering the name correctly?

Where was the guy who used to leave English class to call his stock broker? This was the mid-60s. No one I knew owned stock, much less had a broker to call on a daily basis. He wore a three piece suit to school. Was his name Immerman?

I graduated at the height of the Vietnam War. One of my classmates went on to West Point. Did he make it through the war? Did he even make it through four years at West Point?

I saw one classmate listed who lived in my apartment building. We went to high school together for four years, traveling an hour and a half in each direction by bus and subway. As far as I remember, we had nothing in common and never spoke. At least I recognized the name.

Where were the guys I used to ride the GG and 7 train with? Who did I eat lunch with? Anyone from the A/V squad? I’m at a loss.

I did see George Sau listed, and dropped him an email. George and his brother Johnny lived in a very tough neighborhood in Jamaica. When I’d visit their family’s Chinese food take-out place, they’d be the only Asians in the area… and I, the only Caucasian.

I’ve heard sites like Classmates are responsible for some marriage breakups, as spouses reconnect with old flames. I went to an all boy’s school. I was socially inept back then. It’s not a concern.

Do I really want to find the people I knew in the late 60s? That’s not as simple a question as it sounds. Better still, do I want them to find me?

How much of what I was back then am I now?