Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finding Kyle

Charles, one of my friends who reads my blog found the obituary for Kyle's father, Harry Kyle Parks Sr., on a web site called '' or something like that. Really, is that a website people besides Charles and Fred and Bill (three members of my group I go to every Tuesday morning--who between them, I've come to believe, know Everything About Everything) actually know about?

Anyway, the 2001 obit said his surviving son, Harry Kyle Parks, Jr, lived in Bluefield, West Virginia--a town of 25,000 when I was growing up, probably much less then because the 'business' of Bluefield was to be the 'city' for the coal field and the coal field isn't there anymore. We went to Bluefield (which is called 'nature's air conditioned city' and lemonade is freely given out by the Chamber of Commerce when the temperature reached 90 degrees...I never got free lemonade all the time I was there) when we wanted to 'shop'. It was 25 miles away from Anawalt, where Kyle and I grew up, across either Peel Chestnut or Elkhorn mountain. Either way it was almost an hour's drive since the mountains were significant and the roads across them were full of KYA ('kiss your ass') turns and curves. Either way you went through Bluewell, where Lindy's Drive In was located. No one ever went to Bluefield with out stopping at Lindy's where the hot dogs with chilli and slaw were the specialty. I still long for a Lindy's hot dog.

So I emailed Charles to thank him for actually finding Kyle when I couldn't and told him I'd try to find him if he was still in Bluefield. Of course, I couldn't. But Charles emailed me back with Kyle's address and phone number. I'm not sure what web site he used (Jim' perhaps) but I am delighted.

I plan to write Kyle a letter tonight, since even Charles couldn't provide his email address and see if he'd like to be in contact. I'll send the picture that started all this. Kyle and I haven't spoken or seen each other since we were 21 or 22, so it's a ghost from the past 44 or so years. Who knows how he will react. We didn't part on bad terms in any way--our life journeys were just leading in different directions: his to the military and mine to the protest movement.

I've thought and thought of who I've known (who weren't family) longer than I knew Kyle. Surely Mike Miano who started all this non-sense of searching for a long lost friend who I've known where he was and have had sporadic contact with since High School and College. And maybe Mike Lawless, though the last 10 years haven't been a 'contact time' for the two of us. And then there is John in New Haven who I met when Bern and I lived in Morgantown and he was in graduate school, or maybe even when we were both in college. And since the years since college have been many more than the years before college, John is surely the person I've know longest and still relate with often and always (he goes on vacation with Bern and Mimi and Tim and Sherry--who I've know since 1980--and me).

But this Kyle thing has gotten under my skin. I'm going to write tonight. I'll let you know what happens....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.