Category Archives: Obsessions

You’re a Gamer?!

I’ve had two people in the past few months exclaim in surprise “You’re a Gamer?!” One was a book group friend to whom I confied that I’d played a game called Ingress after she admitted to playing Pokemon Go. They are games by the same company that intersect the real world with the online world by having the players explore the game by walking around the real world. Ingress was the first game of its kind and I liked it at first, but didn’t like the fighting aspect. Same with Pokemon Go (and the similar Harry Potter augumented reality game, also created by Niantic.)

The second time was when I mentioned a game I’d played to a relative of my soon-to-be daughter-in-law in response to something he’d said about something in which he was involved. I remember neither the game nor whatever he said that prompted me to admit playing the game.

Both times I denied being a “Gamer”. In my opinion a gamer is invested in games much more than I am. Sure, there have been times in my past where I played a game into the wee hours of the morning. Myst comes to mind. And the Sims. And more recently I have stayed up playing some room escape type games on my phone. I’m having fun right now with an old-school point and click adventure game called Thimbleweed Park.

But I am not a gamer. I just like to play some kinds of video games. And sometimes I get a little too involved in them and neglect my real life responsibilities a little bit. But I do the same with books sometimes. And, to a less extent, television.

I think it’s fair to say I am an Avoider. But I am not a gamer.

Finding Johnnie

Note: I wrote the following a few days ago, before I made contact with his son, Jack, who confirmed that the letters were written by his father.

When I moved my blog from self-hosted to WordPress.com many of the photos were misplaced. I’ve been going through older posts and fixing any missing photos. That’s when I happened upon the Letters from Johnnie posts again. And again I wondered what ever happened to Johnnie Gannon.

I’d searched for him shortly after finding the letters and blogging about them, and again every so often when I remembered him. I was never near successful until recently.

If you recall, in the last letter I posted (I actually found more later but never got around to posting about them), Johnnie mentioned that his tour might be extended. I don’t know if that actually happened, but he ended up making a career in the Naval Medical Service Corps, retiring as a commander.

I know this because I found his obituary. And his Find a Grave page.

He did go back to Washington, DC where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The George Washington University. He then earned a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

Then, believe it or not, he lived in Bethesda for a while until he retired to Beaufort, South Carolina.

He was married twice. In 1960 he married Margaret Odessa “Peggy” Pope who was born in Montgomery County, Maryland. She and Johnnie had two sons. I’m thinking he probably met her when he was working in at Bethesda Naval Hospital. (Jack confirmed that Margaret worked at the Naval hospital too, as a business analyst). Margaret died in 2001.

John then married Joyce Anna Nestle but lost her in 2003.

I searched Facebook and think I found one of his sons’ Facebook page. I just now looked again and he’s posted his parents’ graves. And they are the same graves as on Johnnie’s Find a Grave page.

John Gannon died in 2014, two years before my mom died. But he was still alive when I found and posted about the letters. I wish I could have put them in touch before they both died.

Reunited and it feels so good

Original draft 2016. No changes

I met him in 6th grade. I had a bit of an major on-and-off crush on him throughout the rest of my public school years. We were friends — probably the only real boy who was also a friend I had at that time. The last I remember seeing him was when we both attended the community college in our hometown. I was waiting for the bus (I didn’t get my driving license until I’d graduated college) and he was either waiting for the bus or walking to his car. We chatted for a while. It was, if I remember correctly, a nice chat. We reminisced then that was it. I never saw him again.

Over the years I’ve wondered how he was doing and tried to find him on the Internet. I never had luck — his was a common enough name. But I had a stroke of luck earlier this week when a mutual friend of ours (someone else I’d tried to find online and ended up bumping into at a mini-reunion for our high school class) said she wished she could find him. I searched “firstname+lastname” + Elgin Illinois and came up with an obituary of/newspaper article about his grandfather in which the person in question was quoted extensively. I tried again, but used his full first name and the rest of the search terms. That brought me to his father’s obituary which listed the person in question as living in a town in New York. Searching on that brought me to a website of a Yoga instructor who shared the name of my friend.

After looking though his site I was pretty sure it was him and called my other friend to tell her I think I’d found him. I sent off an brief, apologetic email asking if he was the “firstname lastname” who used to live in Elgin, Illinois.

The next morning I got a response. It was him and he seemed genuinely glad to hear from me. He asked for the contact info of our other friend and said to give her his.

Our friend was delighted and has reconnected.

My work here is done…

This actually leaves only one person I’d like to reconnect with left. George Phelps who used to live in Colombia, Maryland and spent some time in London in the late 1970’s, I am looking for you.