Anybody remember Bill Appel (not pronounced Apple)? Well, it turns out that he's doing well, married to Irene for some 30 or so years and living in Middlebury PA. I talked to Irene long enough for her to realize that I wasn't trying to steal anyone's identity and that my motives were completely innocent. Hey, I remembered how to pronounce his last name, didn't I?
I realized during that phone call that I was getting pretty good at jamming a lot of information into the very few short minutes that you have to convince people that you aren't a telephone predator. There are also still folks who don't have answering machines; then you have no clue whether it's a good phone number or not. They just ring and ring and ring. That was the case for Ron Elston. I thought I had a lead for him in Atlanta GA, but after several calls with no answers, it's probably wrong. He wouldn't duck my call, we socialized in the all school production crowd, would he? A variation - I think Howie Wilke is in Gilbert AZ, but the phone just tells me that his voicemail box is full and I can't even leave a message. Anything after that is just pure speculation. Is he a snowbird and Gilbert is his winter destination? Is it a wrong number? In these cases, you just have to wait and hope that something else breaks.
Dale Weber emailed me to let me know that Jeff Price died in 2002. I confirmed it on the US Social Security Death Index. Nov. 2, 2002. Sometimes, when there is no clue, it's because it is too late for clues. Such was the case for Madelyn Carr Tooker, for whom all evidence leads to her passing in August of 2007. Every time I find out such sad business, I feel my shoulders sag just a little lower, and my thoughts dwell on our high school days just a little more than usual and the march of faces of our classmates gone is a little longer.
But the search goes on because it is necessary, not because it will always bring good news. Rosalyn Pier is in NYC according to her brother on Facebook. There is also a whole cluster of folks who settled in North Carolina. Dale also gave me a lead on Richard Thomas which I will be following up on today. And yes, I'm still looking for Paul Wagner and now Eddie Boland. And I have leads on Sally Rosensweig and John Van Hoff and Bill Anderson. So if you hear anything, let me know. Any hint could lead to another classmate found. There is still much work to be done.