"I'll be damned, here comes your ghost again! But that's not unusual, It's just that the moon is fulll, And you've decided to call!" --Joan Baez, from "Diamonds And Rust" (also covered by Judas Priest)

About two weeks ago, a ghost from my past popped up into my life, courtesy of Facebook. "From how far in the past?", you inquire? Try December of 1983, when that friend and I came to a parting of the ways "for my own good."

In August of 1983, I was in English 101 at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. I was nineteen, in my second year of college (though not at Chemeketa), and had not yet decided on a major. I passed English 101 with a "B," but that is not why I remember this course.

There was a young lady in my class named Cathy Pattershall. Long brown hair, blue eyes, about my height. We were soon dating, then we fell pretty deep in love. She was rather sweet, but like all humans (myself included), she had issues. She was very possessive (to the point of locking the both of us in her apartment one time because she "didn't want to be aloone"), a bit on the immature side, and couldn't cook worth beans (when I visited her at her place, we had a deal...she provided the raw ingredients, and I would make our dinner).

She also had a physical impairment--a shunt to drain off excessive cerebro-spinal fluid that had been implanted when she was younger. She had to go in once a month to have the shunt checked-and-cleaned. If she did not...not a good scene!

However, despite all of that, Cathy and I got along great. When we were at her place, we walked around without much on (with the drapes drawn, of course). Sometimes, we would lay in bed together, just listening to the rain and our own breathing. I would often lay my ear against her chest, listening to her heart.

"My heart is Jesus' property," she told me then, "but my life belongs to you, darling."

Well, after that breakup in December of 1983, I never saw her again. I often did wonder what happened to Cathy. My dad told me that he was surprised that a person with a cerebral shunt lived so long...and that I was better off without her. Same with my grandmother and grandfather.

Fast forward to July of 2010.

I do use Facebook, but I'm not a "hard-core" devotee of that website. So, imagine to my surprise when I get a "friend request" from a lady named Cathy Bentz. So, I check out the profile (always do this before you friend anyone, unless you know them).

It was Cathy Pattershall! My sweetie from Chemeketa!


Seems she got married, had a son (whom she's crazy about), divorced the father, and now lives in Hillsboro (a suburb of Portland), Oregon with her new man. She said she saw my profile while trolling Facebook, and wanted to have me "friend" her.

How could I refuse? I accepted her as a "Facebook Friend," then brought her up to date on how my life is going. I still give her a poke once a month, just to keep her updated.

Well, as Charlie Daniels said in the song "The Legend Of Wooley Swamp": "Some things in life, you just can't explain."

I wonder if there are any other ghosts in my machine, waiting to pay me a visit?


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David Dodd Aug. 3, 2010 @ 3:06 a.m.

Facebook is quite an oddity. I refused to sign up at first, I have enough social networking going on as it is. But then I found that my youngest daughter was on it, and combined with an email from someone I hadn't seen since around 1981, I gave in. They come out of nowhere, these people from the past, "ghosts" as you call them. Funny when you consider that we didn't even have computers back then.


nan shartel Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:10 a.m.

scares me to death...and i was once..but my hacker deleted me...just as well...but glad u found a old fond connection..


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