The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
Those lines from the Bob Dylan song are on my mind right now, as I look out over the Observations universe, small and unimportant as it is, and contemplate the changes that have occurred over the three years of its existence, and those that are occurring right now.
I commented a while back that many of the old visitors had moved on to other interests. That happens; we all have our priorities and fascinations, and they tend to change as we go through life. I regret losing contact with those folks, because though our correspondence we became friends to varying degrees. But new ones have come along to take their places, and relationships have grown with them, too.
Unfortunately, several of the more recent gang have experienced, or are experiencing, things in their lives that take them away, either for good, or perhaps for just a while, or maybe they just visit less often.
Most of my blogger friends are friends at a distance, meaning that I don’t know them personally, and have never laid eyes on them, which I expect is the case with most blog relationships. Exceptions to that general rule are Kenna Amos, a writer/reporter who lives nearby and just got too busy to keep his site going, and visits here occasionally, but seldom comments. Then there’s The Windjammer, who used to write a column in my newspaper, and was a friend whom I saw pretty often and corresponded with almost daily through email. He contributed columns to Observations for a while. The Windjammer related to me that he had some health problems, but didn’t tell me the truth. I got word from his son that he had succumbed to cancer earlier this year. That was a shock, and a great loss, as I said in a post right after his death.
I have had direct contact with two other blog friends, first Brad Barfield, who called my home one day in an attempt to play a joke on me. I don’t know Brad other than through this phone call and our interaction on the Net, but the phone call was a nifty experience. He spoke with my wife, Diane, first, saying something she didn’t understand, and then ending the call. She commented about that to me, and handed me the phone. Unbeknownst to Brad, the caller ID listed his name, so when he called back, I answered, “Hey, Brad. How are you?”, or something like that. Incredulously, he said, “How did you know who it was?” He thought he was calling from a “blind” number; he was wrong. Anyway, we had a good, though not lengthy, talk.
Earlier this year a visitor calling himself “Winfred Mann” came upon the scene, and became a frequent commenter. At one point I mentioned that the family was vacationing in South Florida, and “Winfred” (Rick) emailed me asking where we were. I told him and ask if he was nearby, to which he responded that he was only a few minutes away, and asked if I would like to get together with him for coffee, which we did. We met, drank some coffee, and talked for an hour or so, and then went back to what we were doing. We continued communicating on each other’s sites, until earlier this month when Rick sort of just “went missing” (a truly ridiculous phrase). He hasn’t posted on his site, commented on mine, or answered emails seeking to find out what is going on. I am worried about Rick.
There’s JL Pagano, from Ireland, who once was a frequent visitor, who still has his site going, but doesn’t comment very often here, and there’s Texas Fred, who has a very active site, and will drop by once in a while or send an email, but apparently isn’t a regular visitor.
And then there’s Buffalo. He and I have disagreed on just about everything for nearly three years, both on the Web and in emails. I have developed a great respect and liking for Buff, despite his mistaken political philosophies. I got an email from Buff, telling me that he was going to stop publishing on “Buffalo’s Path,” but might start a new blog later on. That is a true disappointment, and I hope he continues to visit and keeps trying to set me straight.
So, I’ve lost a few valued blog friends recently, and that is an unpleasant aspect of the blogging experience. But, on the bright side, I still have Brad, Nuri, and Lord Nazh, Steve and Jules, as regulars, and (every so often) Fred, and I hope they don’t go away, for, as the song says, the times they are a-changin’.