Who peers from faded photographs?


“You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole…”
– from The Five People You Meet in Heaven – by Mitch Albom

I have started a Facebook group for my old secondary School, Burwood High, and have spent a bit of time scanning and uploading old photos to the website. And continuing the theme of Absent Friends in a recent post to this blog, I got to thinking about the people I met through school and where they may be now. It struck me how many have actually passed away – good friends some, others passing acquaintances but all gone too young. I suppose as we age then we will know more people who do die young, and as we age and reach yet another milestone that age also seems young.

I’m 50 now, well past the 14 that David Green saw when crushed by a Gravestone at Maldon cemetery in around 1972; also beyond the 18 seen by Spiros Tamaris and Brett Evans when car accidents took them in the mid-1970’s; a few decades beyond those of Peter Jones who died of cancer in his early 20’s not long after graduating as a doctor in the early 80’s, and now 11 years past the age of my good mate Fog who died of a stroke aged 39 in 1997.

There have been others – Ian Black sadly taken suddenly in 2005 a few short months before our 30th Graduation anniversary reunion – still more who I have heard have gone but which I cannot confirm because I have not seen nor heard from them in years. Where is Peter Marsh and Meredith White? Who else of the images who peer from those old faded photos have passed from this world and what were the final chapters in their stories?

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As a P.S. who can pick me out in the photo?

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14 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    November 15, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I know what you mean about wondering about those we went to School with. I felt the same and it was great to find the website Schoolfriends.comI have made contact with some.And it is interesting reading profiles and just seeing what path people have taken. But there are so many who haven’t listed. And so many are the ones you really would like to know what they are doing. lol.Those cheeky, or most popular at the School types.With the expansion of all things internet though – I’m sure they will be on there one day.Jen

  2. Gypsy said,

    November 15, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Sadly one day we will be attending more funerals than parties as each day we grow older. It’s all part of the plan I suppose but it really breaks my heart to hear of people being taken so young.I’m registered with the Friends Reunited site and have had contact with a couple of friends. I think a guy I knew from school is trying to organise a reunion of sorts before Christmas. I’m really looking forward to that.

  3. Jeff said,

    November 15, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    I haven’t thought of it before, but life is kind of like a big tournament, as it applies to your school class. Battle by battle, day by day, until one day there will only be one left. Except, in this tournament, there are no winners.

  4. Loz said,

    November 16, 2007 at 4:48 am

    Hi Jen – I joined Schoolfriends too and found it a great help in organising a reunion in 2005. we ended up with around 140 people attending.

  5. Loz said,

    November 16, 2007 at 4:50 am

    Gypsy – I recommend going to the reunion if you can. Funny but with the one I helped organise there were some people we contacted who said up front that they had absolutely no interest in attending. Those who did had a ball.

  6. Loz said,

    November 16, 2007 at 4:50 am

    Jeff – you are write. You just never know what will happen.

  7. Catherine said,

    November 17, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Hi Loz, I hope that you are doing well.I just discovered a few weeks ago a guy I graduated with took his own life not long after graduation. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t find out until now (18 years later).The 20th year anniversary for our graduating class is coming up soon. In a way I dread to go.

  8. November 17, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Since I moved away from home after graduation, and have returned only seldom and briefly, in my mind my fellow classmates are all still 18! Looking at reunion photos, etc. I am stunned to find they have grown old just like me. Life has been very hard for some, and others haven’t made it this far. It teaches us how sacred and fagile life is, and to treasure every moment. You are going to tell us which one is you… right?? 🙂

  9. Loz said,

    November 18, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Catherine – I would encourage you to go, at least that way you won’t regret not going and if it’s a loust night you can always leave early

  10. Loz said,

    November 18, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Hi Josie – at the reunion i had there were people I would never have recognised and others who hadn’t changed a bit.I am in the back row on the far right of the photo 😉

  11. November 18, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I was thinkin the last guy on the left, looking at the photo?It was very fun & a little bittersweet to see how much people have changed physically, but not personality-wise, at my 30th high school reunion last year. Underneath it all, we’re still a bunch of kids! (At least we were that night!) 😉

  12. Loz said,

    November 18, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Hi OlgaI’m on the far right rear looking at the photo.And I know what you mean about the reunion – in lots of ways it’s like regressing to school days, same old jokes, same reminiscing, great fun.

  13. Random Magus said,

    November 18, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    That’s what I love abut Facebook. I had so many of my old school friends add me as friend its amazing to be able to say hello again as all of us are in different parts of the world. Technology never ceases to amaze me.

  14. Loz said,

    November 19, 2007 at 12:26 am

    Amber – I think there’s a bit of a generational thing with facebook – I’ve got lots of basketball people who have added me but few friends from my generation and even fewer schoolfriends despite the fact that I’ve set up a Burwood High School group. Maybe us old folks take a bit longer to catch onto things. 🙂


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