I’m having one of those moments when I can’t stop thinking about a certain period of my life. I just watched the pilot episode of The Americans on FX, about a pair of undercover KGB agents living in Washington DC in the early 80s. The needle-drops included Fleetwood Mac, Phil Collins and Pat Benetar and the nostalgia sleeper cells in my brain were activated. Here’s the deal…
I moved from Canandaigua, NY to Ithaca, NY in late 1981 or early 1982 — during the winter break of my 7th grade year. I attended Boynton Middle School and lived with my mom at 211 Willow Avenue (top floor of a duplex). I lived in Ithaca for all of 1982 and the first half of 1983, and was there for the second half of 7th grade and all of 8th grade. I made several really great friends in Ithaca and I am not in touch with any of them anymore and that makes me sad. I’ve tried Googling and searching facebook for these long lost chums, but either they don’t have obvious web/social media presences, or their names are too common to be of much use in searches. So I’m going to go ahead and name names in the hope that somebody will see this post and shoot me an email. Adding the names will also provide context for those friends who see this but aren’t sure I’m *that* Bill Simmon. Here are the names of my closest 7th and 8th grade friends in alphabetical order…
Chris Smith (Christian Andrew Smith, if we want to be specific)
Timo is the only one I’ve seen as an adult. I looked him up successfully one Christmas when I was in his neck of the woods visiting some family near Ithaca, but that was a good 20 years ago now and we lost touch. I cold dialed Chris once after calling “information” (does that still exist as a thing?) in Kansas City, where he’d moved the same summer I moved away from Ithaca. But again, that was 20 years ago and the Internet hasn’t been much help locating “Chris Smith” in Kansas City (if he’s even still there).
Kim was a girl I liked and pseudo-dated. She went to Dryden high school (the town up the road a bit). She was a year older. We roller skated together. Don’t Stop Believin’.
Those years and those friends mattered. I got into comics in Ithaca. I saw Star Trek II and The Empire Strikes Back there. I played arcade video games, watched way too much HBO, roller skated, and played my first D&D games there. It was formative, is all I’m saying. So Kim, Timo, Chris, Andy, Chris… if you see this, please shoot me an email at billsimmon at gmail dot com. It would be lovely to hear from you and catch up.
And now you find yourself in ’82
The disco hotspots hold no charm for you…