Friday, March 29, 2019

I love the Internet

What a surprise!!! I worked for several years for the Physics Department at the University of California in Berkeley. I was at first secretary to 3 professors, but one retired, one moved to the Radiation Laboratory and so was never around, so I was mostly secretary for just one professor, Fredrick Reif, who wrote a book while I worked for him (It’s still used in physics classes today–and today costs more than $100. It has been translated into many different languages, my favorite being Japanese because he showed me the Japanese version and in the Acknowledgements, the only thing NOT in Japanese is my name).

Anyway, Fred and I remained friends when I left the job to have my first baby. He eventually left Berkeley and moved to Carnegie Melon University. We remained friends for all these years. I wrote to him every year on his birthday and we exchanged Christmas email cards.

Eight or so years ago, his birthday message was returned as a bad email address. I have tried everything to find him, including contacting the Physics Department at Carnegie Melon, checking the obituaries, etc. I even sent a letter to his wife. No answer anywhere. He is 12 years older than I am (which makes him 88, next week, if he is alive) and the last time I saw him, when I spent a weekend with him and his wife in Pittsburgh, he was not in good health, so I assumed he was either dead or in some convalescent hospital. But there is no obituary for him and no way to find out if he is in some sort of a hospital or not.

In 2017 I wrote an entry about him with a big photo I had found on the Internet, captioned "Where is Fred Reif?"

I was shocked today, 2 years later, to find a simple message on that entry from Fred Reif saying "Hello." I didn’t know if it was really him or if it was someone playing a trick (since you can enter any name when you sign the guestbook) so I wrote "Is this really you or is someone playing a trick on me?" He answered, saying where he now lives and giving me his phone number.  I haven't called yet, since I remembered too late to call (he said call before 2 p.m. his time), but I will call tomorrow and renew our friendship, I hope.

The internet is a strange and wonderful place!

This afternoon was my coronation.

At least that is what the receptionist at Cindy's office called it when she reminded me that I was to come in to have my permanent crown put on.  I told her I would bring my scepter with me.

As always it was an uneventful, painless, and quite short meeting and I was out of there in under an hour with a new crown that feels like a normal tooth and already I forget that it's not real.

The plan had been to go to Atria when I left Cindy's.  Everything is gone except the things in the display ase outside of her apartment, which one of the tech people needs to open.  We're also supposed to have a "walk through."  I'm not sure why.  THEY do the house cleaning and there is nothing in there for a person with dementia to "ruin."  But whatever.  I was so glad to think of it being completely over and to never have to go to that place again.

But as I left Cindy's there were big black clouds in the sky and as I got into the car, a huge roll of thunder and the start of rain.  I decided to skip Atria for today and see if the weather is better tomorrow.

 I went and tested my new crown on a McDonald's hamburger (guilty pleasure).  It absolutely poured rain the whole time I was eating my burger (in the car) and I was glad I had decided not to go to Atria, as much as I want to be rid of that place.

For anyone on Facebook, if you check out Elder Villa, you can see a picture of my mother just posted today, along with a picture of the turkeys in front of the place.  I had a note from Sandy saying she is interacting well with the other residents.  I am feeling more relaxed about things by the day.

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