Well, as of today, it's been 7 months since I created this McNair web site. In those 7 months, I've managed to find three of my old friends. I've also found out some information about 3 other friends and acquaintances. Not bad, I guess. I've never done anything like this nor heard of anyone else doing anything like this so there are no benchmarks for me to go on.
What really surprises me is the number of responses I receive from around the world about this web site. I mean, I never thought many people would even find the site, let alone take the time to muddle through my lousy grammar and boring writing and staring at a bunch of dumb 27 year old photos. It worried me so much that I actively advertised that the site was available when I first published it to the web.
But, at last count, I have somewhere around 50 people that I converse with about our times at McNair. True, there are the few of them that I remember and who remember me, but the vast majority are people I've never had the pleasure of knowing. We share a common interest, our times at McNair. I cherish every contact, every email, every memory, photo, offer, reminder, complaint, and suggestion that makes its way to me.
How much do I enjoy these friends that I've made? Enough to take the evening to put it into words, onto the web site and out into the ether.
I am including just enough personal info to let the person I am talking about know it's him or her. This is in no particular order so don't fret because you aren't the first... or worry because you are the first.
- W.M.: My very first contact from my time at McNair. W brought me much information about what became of a few of our friends after I left Germany as well as a pile of photos that I am still cataloging and enjoying. W and I still keep in touch.
- C.H.: C tantalized me with a very brief glimpse of her life nowadays. C's email brought me current news about Hoechst and McNair Kaserne and quieted my greatest desire, to know that a friend of mine is still around and doing well. We don't keep in touch but C knows I'm here... and I know C is there... and I wait...
- J.R.: Another of my first contacts. J told me of a few events that occurred right after I left McNair; events that confirmed what I thought had happened and I'm glad to hear of them. J also took a very kind step to verify that one my leads on a friend was a dead end. J and I talked on the phone a few times and we still keep in touch.
- L.M.: L arrived with J.R. L sent me, among other information, a paragraph that spoke volumes about one of our friends. L helped me to realize that, while I may have been a bit of a jerk, it was nothing compared to some other people there. The details are between L and me alone, so don't even bother asking.
- M.S: M is the whole reason I started this Web Site. M and I were good friends back at McNair and we are good friends now. We talk often and I relish every conversation.
- G.C. and A.A.: Together, they reminded me that it IS possible to reunite after dozens of years apart, that sometimes Time can be terribly cruel but the knowledge it brings helps to cure the constant wondering. (And I wish I could put that thought into better words).
- J.T.: J keeps coming up with sayings I've totally forgot about. We also occasionally do the machine gun email thing. J makes me wish I had the time to set up an IRC chat room about McNair.
"Hey, why isn't MY name on the list?" Well, it's getting late here and I have to climb a mountain tomorrow. Send me an email chiding me for being so rude and I'll get you on here ASAP!