A Facebook excercise

No question that Facebook has changed our lives, mostly for the good but some for the bad. People rediscover long lost friends and make new ones. They contribute to a host of issues we all face every day. Users are probably as addicted to Facebook as they are to checking their email. Some just want to get as many friends as possible, even to test that five thousand limit put on by Facebook.

I’ve lived a long and somewhat eventful life in terms of my career and the places I’ve lived. I’ve met a ton of people in the process, many of whom I have forgotten. Now that I am officially a senior and facing the possibility of dementia or, worse, Alzheimer’s (my mum had it), I thought I would see just how many people I could remember that I had actually physically met, either in my personal life or my marriage or my various travels or my various jobs, of which I’ve had many. I’m not going to cover my kid’s friends or the kids of any adult friends I had unless it will help to reconnect me with their parents. For many people I will only remember their first name so I’ll do my best to describe how I met them and what the circumstances were. The goal is to test both Facebook and that thing they call six degrees of separation, meaning that “anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries”. We’ll see.

Obviously I don’t expect anyone to read this entire lengthy post. I just want you to go to a section you might have been part of and add anyone you know or add their Facebook link. That’s all.

THE EARLY YEARS

Obviously first is my childhood, which was so very long ago. Way back in 1949 I was born at St. Joseph’s in Toronto after the fireboat rushed my mum from the islands, where her and my father lived, in the middle of the night. I was apparently born at seven twenty in the morning which I only mention because of the numerous times I’ve woken up at exactly that time now matter where I was. We moved around a fair bit when I was a wee one, at one point to an apartment in Ajax, then to a farm called, I believe, Donelda, which became Don Mills. The only name I remember from any of this was someone called Bumpy, a friend of my Dad’s.

When I was maybe four of five we moved in with my Mum’s parents at 7 Hugo Avenue in Toronto. Shortly after my grandfather died so I really don’t remember him at all. My grandmother, whose name was Jenny Hardy, lived in one of the bedrooms upstairs. I went to Perth Avenue public school for several years. The only friends I remember from those early years were Ralph Scholumberg (not sure of the spelling), my best friend and Sharon, a lovely girl who lived a few doors away. I remember she had polio, something more common in those days. I don’t even know if we had yearbooks back then but I have nothing from my years at Perth Avenue. Photos would be nice.

When I was twelve I learned to hate my parents because they moved me out of the wonderful city, where I could go anywhere on transit or my bike and where I had tons of friends, to a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. It had no indoor plumbing. Just an outhouse. A stove in the kitchen to heat the house, which it didn’t do so we had kerosene heaters in our bedrooms. It’s a wonder we didn’t die from the fumes. I forget what time of the year we moved but I soon learned that I was miles from anywhere. Even our neighbors were far from close. My parents both worked, no doubt to pay for their first house, so they weren’t around to drive me anywhere. I had my bike but it was miles to visit anyone. I went to Churchville public school through to grade eight. Grades six, seven and eight were in the same room. Lots of fun. Other than my first love, Roxanne Rollings, I have vague memories of anyone I went to school with. She broke my heart when she married Wayne (forgot his last name) years later. I think there was a Dave and Doug Mackenzie in Churchville. Surprised that the only girl I can remember is Roxanne. Normally I pay a lot more attention to the girls. Still do.

Moved on to Streetsville Secondary School for grade nine. Even though I went there from grade nine to twelve about my only memories are the guys in the group I joined, called the Tempests. No idea why. Dave Kirk, Don Thurston, and Chris Hayes. We played the Coke dances after school and I soon discovered that women love musicians. That joy lasted for years. I do remember a real sexpot in grade 12, Valerie and one of my many girlfriends was Francis Carkner (not sure on the last name). I remember Mary Hamilton who I took the school bus with. The name Judy North is in there somewhere. The group changed over the years. Vic Dimitroff. Zak Marshall. Nolan Yearwood. Alan McQuillan to name a few. I also met people like George Oliver, David Clayton Thomas, Whitey Glan, and Pat Cosby and many others when we were the house band at Club Bluenote. We also built up quite a fanbase in Brampton where we played quite often. So many names I’ve forgotten. I think that we were the Bow Street Runners back at that time. Sammy Conners. Gloria. Marilyn Adams (my girlfriend for a time).

GETTING MARRIED

Okay, so on to the first big lifetime event was getting married. My ex was Janice Kennedy Tyrrell from Brampton. She had two brothers, Gord and Doug. Her father was Ray and her mother was Marion. Friends of hers who became mine were Dale Evans, Gary and Glen Ellis, Bobby Munday, Brian and Lynn Jamieson, Greg and Laura Smith. I was in the band for ten years and met hundreds of people but can’t remember a one of them. My son, Chris, also played hockey for years, on several different teams and all year long. Again, met tons of parents on all the teams but remember few. Jason’s parents, Larry and Ann. Fabio’s Dad, Rolly. Kevin’s parents, Bill and Gerry. I should remember some of the coaches and managers of the teams but I don’t. I can’t even remember the name of the coach for our summer team. Russ Bird, my best man at my wedding.

CAREER

Should cover the career here, at least during my marriage. I started at the Toronto-Dominion Bank in 1968, only because my mother worked for them in Streetsville. My first branch was in what was called Cooksville at the time. During my short two years or so I was at nine branches, the last one being Jane and Wilson, I think. I was the administration officer at only nineteen and took over for the manager for his three week vacation when the replacement manager got sick. I was making fifty dollars a week and a customer hired me away by offering me ninety dollars a week. He turned out to be a crook though and wanted me to do things that weren’t quite legal so I quit. I think I ended up breaking milk jugs at Dominion Glass during a strike. No fun. Met a ton of people working in all those branches, but only remember Steve Vass and the manager of the branch at Keele and Wilson where we were robbed, Joe Murphy.

In no particular order I’ll cover some of my many jobs in Ontario and include the names of anyone I remember. I was at Able Plastics, the manufacturer of foam, mostly for furniture. It was a husband and wife team who spent the entire day fighting. My assistant was Linda. I was at Emco Plastics for several years. I remember Frank and Morris Cook, Earl Lynch, Doug, John McQuarrie, John Farncomb, Roger. I was at Hilti Canada in Brampton. I remember Jim Young, Debbie, Kim, Brian Snyder. I was at TCM, a division of American Hoist. Gerry Waterhouse. Terry. Betty White. Joe Barone. Carolyn, Rene Couture. Skip. Sam Osborne. I was at Kyle Jamieson Real Estate. Doug Jamieson and several clients. I was at Clearview in Weston. Joe. Ciro Gucciardi. I was at Indal Products. Heather Paul. Doug Banyon. Frank. Jon Lehoup. Marie Dearlove, Dave. Steve Duplantis. Michelle. Buddy Bent. Staynor. I spent sixteen years as a computer consultant and dealt with about fifty clients. Fellowes Manufacturing – Gail-Ann Duxbury, James Edmonds. Elliott Industrial Equipment – Bruce. TNT Roadfast – . Florimex – Recom Windows and Doors. GlassVision Solariums – Jim and Linda Webb.

After I moved out west in 1993 I worked as a computer consultant. First major client was Central Valley Trucks. Can’t remember the owner’s name but his son was Rick. I also remember Linda. Worked at Northern Computer in Kelowna. Doris Bonn. Jim Condon. Ross Dickie. I worked for FBC for a while. My boss was Grant Diamond. Worked at Western Star on the line. Don’t remember anyone. Worked for Shaw Fiberlink. My tech was Brett. Had six managers back in Calgary in only a few months. None memorable. Worked for two cellular phone companies for a bit, Sunwest Cellular and Pacific Cellular. Also worked for Canwest Communications and Business Thompson Okanagan, a newspaper.

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN!

My first friend in Kelowna was Laura McKinnon. She introduced me to a lot of people, both through the Courtplex and socially. I met a ton of people – Bianca Siebrand, Wade Silver, Tawni Silver, Brian and Linda, Brian Wall, Doris, Darlene, Norma, Larry, Ann Hansen, Ron Le Stage and Suzanne Le Stage, Tracy Church, Judy Allen, Juanita, Karla Longacre, Stephanie, Debbie, Carolyn McCulley, Trish Power, Laura Johnston,  Gary Bakelmun, Sabrina Weeks,  Linda Lichtenegger, Pam Ferens, Doug Cuming, Rob Dubuc, Debra Birce, Pete Tarasoff, Sylvie Sanson, Kelly Harrison, Teresa Lotoski, Caron Masse Abel, Cathy Kadatz, Jackie Goulding. Spent a whole lot of nights at the Corral and had many, many dance partners. Heather, Jean, Crystal Mogdan, Debbi, Nola, Sheila, and many more.

PANAMA

My almost two years in Boquete, Panama was interesting. Elle Nicolai, Mark and Jennifer (owned Amigos), Walter Cruz (my lawyer), Karynthia, Magaly (girlfriend), Jim, Mitzi Nash, Priscilla Nash, Verushka, Terry and Judith, Amilkar (my worker bee),

LONDON, ONTARIO

I returned to Toronto in March of 2009 and stayed with my cousin, Joan Thomson. I was only in Toronto a few months then moved to London, following Denise Walters. Hard to believe I spent five years in this place but I didn’t have much of a social life to speak of. Sieg Pedde was a colleague I actually met in Panama. For a time I lived in my car and at various shelters around town. Knew some of my neighbors when I finally landed in a real apartment. Worked at Home Depot for a time. Also worked at a call centre selling an international property show in Toronto. Dr. Ramona Cuelho was my doctor. At one point I joined one of those Meet-Up groups but that did not go well. No one I could call a girlfriend in five years, after Denise.

ECUADOR

My last out of country experience was Ecuador and I met an amazing number of people considering I was there less than a year. The first person I met, at the airport actually, was Ana Romero, who was going to work for me but that didn’t work out. Next was my landlady, Jessica Alban, who ended up ripping me off for two hundred dollars when I left. Next was Peter and Mauro, the owners of the hostel I stayed at. Then, in no particular order, Deb Swansburg, Mari Ruiz, Dutch Fuscaldo, Mia Rushing, Debra Rambo, Michael Griffin, Tanya Harrell, Deborah Lapping, Kasie Estevez, Jessyta Teran, Deborah Angus, Gary Phillips, David Meade, Bobby and Becca Vinces, Candace Burch, Joel Kaplan, Yolanda Santana, Dilan Tuquerrez, Lulie Lawry May, Anne Worthington, Julie Powell, Jean Clark, David Beede, Bonnie Davis, Monica Granja, Lindsay Numedahl, Kashmir Moses, Jeanne Martin, Jeanine van Griensven, Mary Ellen, Nick Rossicci, Kaden Brown, Colleen Hemphill, Steve Donoso, Santiago Hidrobo, Bonnie Hall, Steve Rushing, Janda Grove, and many more who aren’t on my Facebook, like Valeria, Marlene, Olga, Esperanda, Janice, Mickey, Dan, Veronica and Santiago, Guiermo, Yulie, Phillipe and Ronda, Negrita. Kathy Fajardo, my “facilitator” for my residency, who ripped me off for three hundred and fifty dollars and cost me my passport. Phoenix Bess, who was also going to work with me at one point. Carlo Ami.

BELLEVILLE

I returned from Ecuador last October and first lived in Foxboro in a house owned by Greg Castonguay, Heather’s son. Then I moved into Belleville to a group home on Murney. Met Terry, Scott, Chris, Blair, Dave, Ron and Mo. Moved to Forin last March. Met Bob, Mike, Mathew, Frank and Jean Karl. Blair has now moved here from Murney. New guy is Chris. Frank is moving to Toronto so we’ll be getting someone new soon.