Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ed is Gone

A friend of mine died this past week. He was a few years older.

I met him in a local chat room in the early 90's. In fact, he was well known amongst the women who frequented the room for being the fellow who attended group lunches, and if you were the lucky girl that day sitting next to him, he'd have his hand on your knee. I called and told a friend about seeing the obituary and she reminded me of this habit of his. I recalled it was true!

This was that brief time when AOL was the a friendly internet service, before Google or Facebook. People had profiles that could be searched for age and location. Local chat rooms were popular. The way you check into Facebook now, you once checked in with your local chat room and your habits became known by your other chat buddies so much that if you did not check in people worried about your health!

When I became widowed and when I finally disentangled myself from the train wreck that was Roger, I met and made all my friends through the local AOL chat. Ed was a fixture there.

The obituary mentioned a loving wife and a herd of children with an even bigger herd of grandchildren. He had been a good provider and retired from a good job at a plant that went out of business a decade ago. These facts about his "real' life were news to me, proving that it is possible to live a virtual life completely removed from your real one.

I know both parts were real, come on!

We AOL buddies won't attend the visitation nor the funeral. We have the memory of Ed and that's quite enough.


  1. I am so sorry to read of the passing of your friend, Ed. That's the age that we have reached, it seems.

    Sometimes, though, I wonder if we really know anyone...


  2. You AOL guys should have an online wake or something.

  3. I think we can know someone despite what Shoes say, it takes a lot of time and a lot of work sometimes though.

  4. I've been fortunate in that I haven't lost any blogger friends to death (that I know of.) Some have stopped blogging, but I have to assume it's because the got tired of it. Just enjoy you memories of Ed and the life you knew with him. RIL will take care of itself.

  5. My condolences. Sometimes our casual acquaintances (even the online ones) can be just as charming - indiscretions and all - as our authentic ones. Regardless, we mourn their passing.

  6. So sorry to hear about the loss of this person. Even if this was a virtual friendship, there's always a slight form of attachment with those that we deal with often online.

  7. So sorry to read about your friend Charlene.

    In my line of work, I meet with men who are much older than myself, and when one of them stops calling me, I do wonder if something has happened to him, and know there is not a thing I can do about it.
    It's par for the course - of course, but that does not stop me from caring just a little.
    The Internet is like 'the Curate's Egg - good in parts.

    I have met many people doing this work, and find, on the whole that the ladies I have met up with, and known as what I mistook to be friends, allowing me to invest huge chunks of myself in them tend to be fickle and 'fair weather' as friends go, which is a shame. It always leaves me feeling disappointed when I meet someone because of their Internet connections only to find they are only using me for the kudos my 'name' brings to them and not for true friendship.

  8. Red Shoes: I wonder if we really want to know anyone.

    Grant: No. We shouldn't.

    Bathwater: I agree.

    Coffeypot: Blogger friends don't die, as they are eternally posted.

    Octopus: I agree.

    PorkStar: They are all part of our story.

    Sarah: You are a muse. I'd never heard the term Curate's Egg and binged it to find that the cartoon in Punch that was the origination of it was drawn by the grandfather of Daphne du Maurier, who wrote "Rebecca" the first book I ever read. SMILE

    The solution to the problem of people disappointing us is to have low expectations in others.

  9. an online wake sounds like a plan to me

  10. Charlene I hear you but I can't be like that - it's not in my makeup to be so, so it looks as if I will always be disappointed.
    Life is just a bowl of cherries innit!

  11. oh Goddess, do I remember those chat rooms..talk about some real weirdos..I know where they went ...to the teabagger party

  12. They were and often it is easier to be who you are behind the computer than in front of it...

  13. I send my condolences on the loss of your friend.
    And just a side note:
    my particular circle on netizens recalls the days of the internet as it was before AOL opened the flood gates and let their customers loose on an unsuspecting world.

  14. Sorry, Charlene. But isn't life the richer for sometimes turning out characters who pull a few surprises?

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. Makes us hold tighter to the ones so dear doesn't it?

  16. Interesting about the chat rooms -- are there still chat rooms on AOL??

    And, yes, both lives are indeed real.

  17. I've not been in the local chat in about 3 years, but it seems to still be there, though a pale thing in comparison to what they were from 1996-2003 or so. They went own hill when AOL messed with profiles and made them look like Facebook profiles. Sigh.

    I know if I'd not found them I'd not have many interesting friends as I do.

  18. I never did chat rooms, but there were dialup bulletin boards that were popular before the Internet became a household word.
    In fact, a guy here in Birmingham had a bulletin board called...get this -
    America Online.
    When AOL did a trademark search, they found this guy in Birmingham held the trademark.
    They offered him cash, or stock in AOL. He scoffed and took the cash.
    I'm betting he questioned that decision many times.

    Sorry about your online buddy.


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