I had a good experience this week. I reconnected with one of closest friends from high school. I attended Lanier Senior High School (appropriately named after the poet Sidney Lanier) in Macon, Ga, graduating in the Class of 1962. Five of us "brains" (or "nerds" or "bookworms" or whatever they called us straight A students) were a close group, maybe originally thrown together for protection but later being good friends throughout high school. After graduation, we all scattered to the winds. I went to the U of Ga-Athens and my closest friend went to U of Va. I majored in science (microbiology); he majored in philosophy. After getting his Ph.D. in Philosophy, he went to medical school a few years later. Then he published a book about "near-death experiences" (a phrase he coined) in 1975. I knew the book did well and made him into somewhat of a celebrity -- Oprah, speaking engagements, that sort of thing. Then I guess I got busy with my life events and lost track of him for years.
A few weeks ago I saw his name mentioned in a blog I was reading, and I got to wondering how he was doing today. At age 65, who knew what he might be capable of doing, if even alive. So, I Googled him. Wow! Is he ever successful! He has now published over a dozen books after "Life After Life" (his groundbreaking 1975 book) and has sold more than 20 million books. I emailed his website email address, not sure what response to expect. Happily, I received an email shortly from his wife saying I should call him. I tried and ended up talking stiffly into an answering machine. I left my number and waited. That same afternoon Raymond called, and we chatted a long time catching up on old times. We agreed to swap books. I mailed him copies of my latest two poetry books, and he is mailing me a copy of his newest book about to be released. All around, it was a great experience. So, I guess you CAN travel back home sometimes and reconnect with a distant past.
Check out Dr. Raymond Moody on Google and examine his books on Amazon.com. His "Life After Life" still sells well every year. Raymond is healthy, walks 3 to 6 miles daily, and travels the world as invited speaker. He is a busy man. And an extremely successful author!
Raymond has done a much better job than I did keeping informed about the careers of our Lanier group. (Curt McM had a career with the government in San Francisco; Walter P works with computers in SC; and John O is a psychiatrist in SC) Each of the group has done well in life. Each left Macon to pursue his career. Go nerds of the world! I tell you, ladies, if you want a successful man as your husband, marry a nerd. :-)