Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ghosts of the Past

Social media is amazing. I wrote a while back about an old, Army friend I ran into due to my book. He found me on Facebook. Well, a couple months ago I ran into an extremely old friend named Becky. We were the dearest of buddies in first, second, and third grade at a very tiny school. We were in the same class for all three grades because it was the same teacher. In a town with 47 people, friends take on a whole new meaning. We moved away suddenly in third grade and as Becky put it “disappeared”. She found me and sent a friend request. As soon as we became Facebook friends, she sent a message that said, “Where did you go?” We’ve caught up a bit in the last couple months, and she also became friends with my wife. We mostly talk about music.

Becky invited us up to see her sing last weekend. She’s been singing professionally since she was nineteen years old. It was something I felt like we should do, so we drove the three hours up to watch her in a theater show. We watched her in a country classics variety show where she sang lead on five or six songs. After the show, she invited us to see her, her mom, and her daughter sing karaoke. She wanted a chance to show us what she could do on songs she picked. She said the band that hired her for the show picks her outfits, songs, and everything. She wanted to be able to take requests. It was at a little VFW hall in my old hometown.

She is incredible!! Seriously, she’s among the best female singers I’ve ever heard live. I don’t know how she’s not a star. She’s an extremely talented singer. I suppose it had something to do with raising four kids. She’s still out there making money off her voice, though. We meant to go home after the show. Then we meant to go home about ten or eleven from karaoke. Then we were staying as long as Becky was willing to sing. She’s that good. What’s the hurry? Watching one of my oldest friends doing what she loves was the most important thing in the world this weekend.

It was also a lot of fun catching up. She has a whole lot in common with my wife, and I think they both found a new buddy. They were chattering all night long. Becky told all kinds of stories from the old days in Cherryville…population 47. She is so funny! She says things like, “I grew up so far out in the country that a two-lane road meant going to the city.” My wife told me on the way home that it feels like she’s known Becky their whole lives when she just met her. She’s such a sweet girl and incredibly funny! She had us rolling all night long. She’s also excited to collaborate on some songwriting. It meant a lot to her that we were willing to drive up there to watch her, but it was a pleasure. We had her autograph the show tickets before we went home, and she almost cried. She finished the night by performing Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing”, and it was unbelievable. When everybody fizzled out and it was time to say goodnight, everybody hugged. When she hugged me, she said, “I missed you so much!” It’s not every day that you get a chance to touch someone so deeply. It meant a whole lot to her that somebody would travel that far to hear her sing. It meant a lot to me, too.

All in all, it was a really fun weekend. Facebook is an incredible tool. Our friendship might have been frozen in time during the Ford administration if it hadn’t been for modern technology. Now my wife and I have a very dear new friend.

I don’t think it’ll be thirty-six years before we see Becky again. There’s some big book news, but I’ll save that for another post. This one is about my old friend. If you ever get a chance to hear her sing, I highly recommend it. She’s great! 



  1. Doug,

    Thank you for sharing this relationship with us. I thought it was lovely, touching, and deserving of a One Lovely Blog Award.


  2. Your words flow just the same as if you are talking to me in person. I will definitely read more of your blog posts in the near future. I feel like I, myself, am catching up with an old friend. It's hard to explain.

    I'm glad for everyone. It's wonderful connecting with people we've cherished from the past.