Saturday, January 20, 2007


When I first started looking for someone to take over this blog site, Irvin Van Patten and Billy Benz finally, rather reluctantly, agreed. Both guys are from the 60s decade, and it seemed like it was time to expand the readership pool.

Understand, I had never face-to-face met either of them. Such is the wonder of cyberspace that Irvin, down right outside Houston, and Billy, someplace on the shores of exotic (??) Lake Maumelle, could hold three-way conferences via Irvin’s internet phone.

Unfortunately, this didn’t work out, for various reasons, all circumstances rather than lack of dedication, so you’re stuck with me again, although both guys will continue to be team members, free to post items whenever they want.

I mention this because, a few weeks ago, around the Christmas holidays, this pudgy little dude walks up to me and says, “Hi, I’m Irvin.”

Our first – and, to date – only meeting.

Yesterday, I had to take my mother down to Little Rock to a doctor’s appointment over by St. Vincent’s. As we were leaving the doctor’s suite, a gentleman was holding the door for us. I said “Thank you” and he went into the suite.

A minute later, he was back out the door, looking at me quizzically and asking, “Tom??”

It was Billy Benz: this is how we had our first face-to-face. What are the odds?

Billy’s got a lot to put on here. His mom was a pack-rat so far as he and his brother’s school years were concerned: photos, programs, etc. He just needs time to scan and such. I hope he gets it done while I’m alive (that’s a joke, folks).

It does bring up a point, though. As Editor of this exercise in self-flagellation, part of my job is taking stuff you submit and make it socially presentable: commas where they belong, extraneous material excised, etc. Very little of what you’ve read on this blog from others has been presented untouched. This is the long way ‘round of saying that, if you have a story, tell it: I’ll straighten it out, if it needs it.


Chances of me running across you in a doctor’s office are very, very slim.


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