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Well, I've decide to join the ranks of the bloggers out there. You can take a gander at my blog here. I'll add it to the navigation soon.
Gosh, has it been a year already? I suppose you could say that I'm not the most prolific writer. Or maybe it's just that
I'm not in to sharing every little thing that comes to my mind. Or maybe I have no mind.
Anyway. Here I am making another foray into a world of sharing.
Don't count on much.
Happy Birthday, Pam.
My father once owned a set of Zane Grey western hardbacks, including "Western Union". They were bound in an orange cloth. They were printed in the 50's and were full of greenhorns, desperadoes and cattle drives. This past Saturday, James and Heather of Silva Books in Alameda decided to close the doors for good, and I was lucky enough to pick up two volumes of the orange set for my dad. I don't know if he has these, or what condition his are in (especially after 3 kids have had their thick fingered hands on them) if he does.
So here I am, winging my way across Louisiana, on my way to Hollywood, Florida. With two Zane Grey hardbacks in my carry on luggage. I was hoping to hook up with dad on my DWF layover, but the timing didn't work out. We'll try again tomorrow on my way back across the continent.
Anyway, here I am, flying to Florida. Pam's still gone. For the past week and a half, I've been trying to get in touch with a friend of hers. Not much luck. I think I've found the correct telephone number (internet detective that I am), but I always get an answering machine. I guess I'm not comfortable leaving a message for a stranger. Or too frightened. What would I say. "Hey, I knew Pam?" What a conversation starter. (I did send an email address that I think is correct, but who knows).
I'm not too sure exactly why I feel the compunction to reach out. Pam died over four years ago, and I wasn't there for her. I didn't comfort. I didn't console. I didn't know...
and maybe that's my issue. I didn't know, and I feel guilty. Was there anything I could have done?
Could I have professed unconditional love? Anything that Pam wanted to do was OK by me.
My undying friendship? Or was I really a friend? I wasn't there to hold her hand. I wasn't there for her, as I imagine I should have been.
I didn't know...
and I still don't.
I found Pam's funeral notice online today at The Palm Beach Post web site. She died from pancreatic cancer. That had been nagging me, not knowing why she died. Not that I know "why" now. Just from what from. A memorial service was held on Saturday, Oct. 10th 1998 at the DelRay Beach Golf Club for friends and invited family only.
I happened upon a letter from '91 and her last Christmas card from '97. I have a bundle of her letters, somewhere.
I'm not ready to read them.
I don't know where to begin.
I found out last week that I have to go to Florida on business in late February. I decided I would look up a friend from high school (see note below). Her birthday would be around the time of my trip, and I wanted to catch up and see how her life was doing. The last time we spoke on the phone, in late 1997/early 1998, I was contracting for Novell in the BorderManager Marcom Dept. She had sent a card to say hello. I phoned and found out she had gotten married in early '97. She was working on a web site, www.trailside.com for Teaching Learning Network and PBS, and was excited about the new technology. She referenced an ailment she was combatting, but didn't go into specifics. We hung up, promising to keep in touch. In March 1998 I started a new job webmaster for a company by the name of Arbor Software, and contrary to my intentions, we lost touch once again. Arbor merged with Hyperion Software to become Hyperion Solutions. I was busy with merging two web sites, and later a site redesign with all new branding. I left Hyperion in late 1999 to work for Trading Dynamics, a start up in Mountain View, California. Which was purchased by Ariba, Inc., where I am today.
I often thought of Pamela, and I would occasionally do an internet search hoping to find mention of her out there in cyberspace. There would be one or two articles, always the same, never anything new. I thought it was odd, but nothing more than that. My life was busy and time passed quickly.
This past Saturday, after doing a search looking for her address and phone number, and coming up empty, I dug through some old letters and found an address, and entered it into a reverse look up on the web. No luck. I tried directory assistance with her married name and without. Nothing.
I was perplexed. I did a Goggle search for finding people, and came across a web site, www.people-data.com, that advertised record searches of people based on name and state. I forked over $10 and had a listing that matched the names for my friend in Florida. That gave me a few more addresses to try in the reverse look ups, but again nothing. I splurged at people-data and purchased a background report on the Pamela that had the same address as my last card from her. It came back with nothing new since the year 2000.
I then started looking at web sites on how to find folks, and ended up at Virtual Gumshoe, with a plethora of links on how to find someone. I went through them all. Reverse look ups. Email address look ups. Florida State corporation records. I spent most of the day Sunday trolling through information web sites, putting a name here or there and waiting for data to come back to me about how I could get in touch with her.
Pamela's last address was in Palm Beach county Florida, and after work Monday, I went to the public records section of that web site. I searched first under her married name. Pay dirt.
A list of about 7 documents. Mostly under joint names of husband and wife. A deed. A mortgage. And something under her married name, noted as DC.
I clicked on the link and brought up an image of the document. Death Certificate. The floor dropped out from under me.
Pamela died in October 1998. I don't know the circumstances surrounding her death, but I assume that it has something to do with the ailment she mentioned in that phone call in late 97/early 98.
I was pretty much useless yesterday after work. Her death has hit me hard, over four years later.
Pamela was a fantastic person. Full of Life. Full of ideas. Full of creativity.
I met Pam in Alicia Cevera's french class our Junior year in high school. We also shared a Drama class. I was captivated with her. She had the NY accent. She was smart and sassy. And she was easy to look at.
At the time, I was heavily into theater. I wrote a mini-musical, based on a story called the Camden Kid and I wanted to perform it. I asked her to be in it, and she accepted. We had meetings with other members of the cast, and even met at her house to rehearse and go over production logistics. The play never came to anything, but we started a nice friendship.
In our senior year, Pamela wrote a musical of her own, Tomorrow's Children. Original. Daring at the time. I offered to provide music, but I sucked at composing, and she had another friend provide. It was a stunning show.
Pam moved to Florida in the '80's and I next had contact with her while I was working in Washington, D.C. I don't remember who contacted who. She was working for a local TV station and we were both struggling to make ends meet. (I remember sending her macaroni & cheese and roses). We sent letters back and forth. We met up back in Dallas during Christmas of 1987. I visited her and her friend Jerry at her parents and we watched True Believers, then went to Chilli's for a drink.
I flew back to San Francisco where I'd been living for a short while, as enamored of her as ever.
The next summer I flew to Boca Raton and had a too short visit.
We kept in touch over the years, trading snippets of our everyday life. She would regale me with the new television projects she was working on, requiring her to travel the globe. She sent a photo of her standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Labled "Senator"). We would talk about the latest books we had read. Or talk about people we went to school with.
Pamela died at the age of 36. She would have been 41 on the 26th of February.
I can't put into words how much her death has affected me.
I will miss the letters and phone calls that I haven't missed in the last four years. I should have kept in contact with her, because she was a powerful influence in my life. I will miss her because the world would be a better place with her in it. I will miss her because she held a special place in my heart.
I miss her.
Added base pages for coldfusion and design sections. Will do the same for the macintosh section, and switch over the design sometime late today. wahoo.
Searched yesterday for an old high school friend.
Pamela S. Blankenship nee Alvarez. Last address was in DelRay Beach, FL. No luck. will try again.
New UI and content for rubbergumball.net
thought I'd spruce it up a little. Old design (what design?) more than stale.
- add footer
- add content (ha!)
- fix dvd db calls and make it look better
- add contact and mail forms
- site map