Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The unpleasant surprise

Have you tried looking up friends from your past on Facebook? Maybe old girlfriends or boyfriends? Recently I wrote down a list of names I could remember from high school (Class of '65), and from my two years in the Army (November 1966 to November 1968). I had no success whatsoever finding anyone. It could mean that the people I am looking for are uninterested in social media, or worse, that they are incapacitated, or even deceased.

Warren was one of the guys I tried to find on Facebook. No luck.

We were friends for only a few months, 1967 into 1968. Warren was a guitarist; he bought a guitar near where we were stationed in Germany. We sat in Warren's room where he would play old songs and I would sing along. That seems pathetic, but if we didn’t have passes to go to town we were stuck on base and had to entertain ourselves. As you can see from the only photo I have of Warren he rocked a pompadour hairstyle. I don’t remember what songs we tried to sing, but they were probably along the lines of Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly.

When I didn’t find Warren on Facebook I went to Google, and that is when I found him. That was the unpleasant surprise. Warren was not only deceased, but he had died on July 29, 1968, just a couple of months after he got out of the Army. That seems unfair to me. A guy spends two years away from home and family, and then lives only a couple of months after returning to civilian life.

Warren was a motorcycle guy. My first thought on seeing that Warren was dead at age 21 was that he wrapped his motorcycle around a tree. But there was no information on cause of death.

Something else I remember about Warren is that he was always broke. He was usually tapped out five days after payday. He borrowed from me quite often, but he always paid me back. This little blog posting is a poor remembrance, because it has been so many years, but in some ways it is my payback to Warren for those nights smoking, joking, laughing, singing along while he played the guitar. It made the barracks almost livable.


DEMiller said...

Par - This is a very touching story. We can thank the invention of the internet to at least be able to track past friends down. I have a similar story. I dated a beautiful girl a few times in the late 70s. I lost track of her and always wondered how she was doing. I did a search on google and discovered that she died of brain cancer in the 80s. She was an amazing artist and I asked the fellow who posted the website what happened to her art. He had no idea. I suspect it was destroyed. What a loss. Thanks for posting the piece.

Postino said...

Dave, that is a tragic story. I have had mixed results looking for people from my past. This was the second of my old Army friends to turn up deceased. Another died in 2000, just a few miles from me, and I didn't know it until last year when I went online and found a picture of his grave.