Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Short Story Pt 2: "Where are you, Joe?"

Over two months ago, after a long, dust-filled day of work in my backyard workshop, I started looking for Joe Umenetz, a friend from London Teachers College, 1969 - 70. Weeks passed and I eventually learned I was spelling his name wrong. It's Umanetz, as per my Teachers College yearbook (finally, I found it!), i.e., 'Spectrum 1970'. 

["Dust filled the air in the shop. Ontario teachers
were talking 'strike action'. I thought of Joe."]

I then learned, just a few nights ago (thanks to Google), he was still teaching in the very recent past and had taken a class to Ottawa, and stood under the giant metal spider (and sac of spider eggs) that casts its spell outside the front door of the National Art Gallery. The photo I found of him online closely resembles the one of my wife and I standing under the same spider during a brief vacation in 2010, the year before Joe and his class visited our nation's capital.

["My wife and I wait for the eggs to hatch"]

["A similar photo, 2011. Is Joe among the crowd?
Will I ever find him?"]

And I found a postal address for his present or last school, and an email address.

So, I cleverly (in my always humble opinion) dropped him a line:

Hi Joe,

I am sorry and surprised - chiefly surprised -  to have discovered you are one credit short, according to the Elwood College Standard (i.e., from teachers' college, London, Ontario, 1969), of attaining the position of gifted/enrichment teacher. Please contact me for full instructions re completing the necessary, fairly inexpensive paperwork.


Gord Harrison
Elwood College Judge and Arbitrator
London, Ontario

Granted, this looks like an unusual way to reconnect with Joe after 43 years have gone by. But I did give him my real name and the wrong name for the college we attended. It should read 'Elborn'. If he truly deserves to be called a 'gifted/enrichment teacher' he will catch on immediately and dash off a quick reply.

E.g., "Hey Gord, you are still a hoot!" Or something like that.

More to follow.

Photos by GH


Please click here to read "Where are you, Joe?" PT 1

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