I was chatting with Joel via email, and he asked me how we met in Middle School.  It started me on a long run down about what I knew about who from back then.  I figured I’d post it up here to act as a Google trap to any of the old crew I’ve lost contact with, in case they were to ego-search and find the page.  It’s worked in the past, so hey, why not. It’s been edited a little bit to protect a few of the guilty (it’s not like you’d know the names anyways, quit yer bellyaching).

Joel: …refresh my memory of that how we met in middle school, Matthew said it involved some ass giving us trouble, I don’t remember frankly, but out of all the people I knew in middle school, you and James K. are the only ones I kept up with.  I still get bummed once in a while thinking about James. Its funny though that now, 14 years later, we’re still good friends.

Me: Last time I heard from C—, it was back in 1999 or so, when I hired him to be on the sales team at Cox Communications.  He was going down to Houston for school, and then married some chick down there.  I haven’t heard from him in years, and he’s one of the few people I don’t search out from those days to get the skinny on.  Color me uninterested.

John Wiseman is, as far as I know, still living in Arizona.  He moved down there to be closer to his sister, if memory serves, who then got married and moved out of the state.  He stayed behind, got into acting on commercials for a while, and decided that despite the fact that he had a degree in Computer Science (and is QUITE the impressive nerd in that respect), he wanted to do graphic design.  He’s going to school for 3d Animation now. His parent’s phone number is STILL XXX-XXX-XXXX, which he is trackable through.  As soon as I said that, you most likely remembered it.  Ask me an interesting story about that phone number some time.  It’s quite mysterious. 

Todd Lloyd I spoke to about four years ago.  He was doing quite well for himself in a Ren Faire troupe.  Haven’t heard from him recently though.  He graduated SFA from the Theatre Dept. 

Jamie Crain ended up being a Tylerite, though and through.  He went to TJC, and is pretty much bumming around the East Texas area from what I get through the grapevine.  He hooked up with a different crowd in college, so I stopped hanging out with him.

Curt Dewitt I haven’t heard from in ages (he became a ‘hick’ the last part of middle school, I think).  That Kevin McSomething or other I haven’t heard from since he moved to Nacodoches in 10th grade.  Chris Wooddell I haven’t talked to in about six years or so, but right out of high school he married an internet sweetheart of his, and they were quite happily married (which was odd at the time – almost a novelty).  She was a hottie, too.  They lived in Tyler last I heard, but again, 8 years ago. 

As to the other people tertiary to our middle school clan, M——- L—— went to Centenary College, and from what I heard became the town slut.  That’s what my ex-girlfriend told me when we were going out (she was a Centenary attendee as well). Steven Shogry I just ran into last Christmas (remember, he played a Goblin (thanks to C——- being an ass) in our last (and his only) D&D ‘campaign’ right before we switched to BattleTech). He’s actually joined the Rangers.  He’s a staunch Democrat, and he cried when Bush won the last election. 

Most of the other people I periodically monitor are from high school, and are doing about how you would have predicted they might. 

As to how we met, interestingly enough, it was Jamie Crain who put the crew together.  He knew John Wiseman from Elementary School, and he met me in 6th grade English.  He met Chris Wooddell in Math class, and we all started eating lunch together and playing D&D.  Wooddell would DM.  I stayed more or less under the radar until 7th grade or so, when I started getting beat and harassed fairly often by some jerks from P.E.  I’m not sure if you remember, but I was about 5’3” and 70lbs exactly. One of bigger guys who would pick on me often was this behemoth name Bubba.  I don’t know if you recall Bubba, but he was the only middle school kid who could legally drive a car – when they were in fifth grade.  I think he was in his mid-20s or so.

At any rate, remember that rock/mall area?  It was the place that was shaped like a triangle between the buildings and the basketball court near the bandhall and gym, and it had those benches made from some unidentifiable recycled material.  I was on that walkway going towards the library, most likely to check out some stupid magic book with Jamie, and Bubba started pushing me around.  Matthew, as I recall, put himself between me and Bubba, and used a word with two or more syllables in it and it completely shut the dummy down.  It was after that you guys started hanging out at our lunch table. 

Ahh, memory lane.

/rizzn