After having completed a class search for Evansville's F.J. Reitz Class of 1967 and now deep into the search for our classmates with the help of my personal Sherlock, Linda, I can't help but reflect on the way the search evolves gradually from one distinct stage to another.
I can't think of anything to compare it to other than a criminal investigation. You begin with the physical evidence, in our case, Embers and a couple old attendance directories from previous reunions and once you compile a universe of suspects, and last known whereabouts, you start pounding the streets looking to verify what you know and confirming what is bogus. And with the multitude of Internet people search engines and Google, the odds of confirming what is bogus is getting easier and easier.
Sometimes, the days just pass without any progress, just canvassing, inquiring, talking your head off to answering machines, sending emails into the electronic nothing out there without any prospects of response or reply. Other days are like today. Had a great talk with Mary Ann Dugan Tomassone, another retired nurse, who has connections to two other people we were looking for, Diane Gluck Benedict and Linda Johnson Reed, who is on Mary Ann's Xmas list. In addition, we located Kathy Ormsby Wentworth out in Washington state. Information comes in little clusters, and each clue sends you down the road to another possible positive location of another classmate. Finding Mary Ann was a goldmine of information.
Usually a good day is when you take a single clue and are able to develop an address and possible phone number from it. Do this with a dozen or so "missing" classmates. Some will dead end with a phone call. "Yes my name is XXXXXXX, but I graduated from a different school in 1967." Some will just add another clue. "You must be looking for the XXXX that lives in Brigantine, I think they went to Wayne Valley". On to the next trail of clues, wearing electric holes in electronic shoes pounding on the "information highway".
And on the way, there awaits in your blog comment box another anonymous bit of venom, dripping with animosity and maybe more than a little jealousy. If there was any substance to it, I'd share it, but it's just juvenile vitriolic whining. Please, we're not back in high school.
Tony Gravagne (WVHS '66) but one of my Wayne Valley concert band music buddies, suggested to me that I ought to start a Class directory Facebook group. I sort of dismissed the idea at first, but much like I decided to go my own way and start the class directory, I think I will, especially in the face of the continuing craven adolescent hostility I've been receiving, now I'm thinking once again, why not. Why not start a group around the class directory that acts as a focal point for clues about our missing classmates and reconnecting with each other.And it's not just for '67 graduates either. It's for family of grads, and underclassmen too. Anyone who might have information about where our classmates are. Why not indeed. I remember the last time I wrote these words; now we have a class directory. So Facebook classmates, if you get an invite to join a new Facebook group, don't be surprised. It's only me.