Sometimes I wonder what happened to these five people, who were around at one point or another in my life:
Kerry Minster. My first crush was on a girl in my first-grade class. She had a menacing-looking older brother, and in our school picture we are standing so close together that we are almost holding hands, a fact that thrilled me at the time.
Tracy Noel. She and I were two of only three students in my class who started their freshman year at the University of Montana. For awhile we were inseparable, as freshmen in new environments are bound to be, but after that year, she virtually disappeared.
Sarah Prodell. A copy editor who also supervised the support staff at the Missoulian. I believe she once had corrective facial surgery, because her hair always, always flipped up to cover one particular spot on her cheek. (I never had the courage to ask what that was about.) She also told me, “There’s no such thing as ‘not your job’ ” during a performance review. It seriously steered my life in a new direction, because I started trying to learn and do everything, not just answer the phones and write up the weather and obits, and that’s how I ended up getting a design and editing job.
Ann Crnkovich. I met her through another friend at the time — she worked at the Borghese counter at Robinson’s May, and she had divorced a pastry chef who lived in California. I can’t believe she didn’t get in trouble, as often as I came in to hang around the counter and say hi, and we’d grab lunch at Johnny Rockets. Eventually she moved to Nordstrom, and then off to California, where I think she reunited with her ex-husband.
Yoga Patrick. My favorite yoga teacher at L.A. Fitness on Camelback. He used to make us do pushups between “plank” and “croc” positions, he read inspirational passages at the end while we were in corpse pose, one time he did an hourlong session with only Madonna music, and he made you work. Then he left and for about a month, the regulars would show up every weekend morning and I would hear them buzzing about whether he would be teaching the class or not. Finally one of the subs, no doubt sick of the whispers, announced that he was gone, so please stop asking.
And two people I could happily erase from my memory banks:
Shannon McGowan. My former roommate Keith’s ex-girlfriend, and the only girl I have ever hit. (My mom once told me if they hit you twice, you can punch back.) That tells you how awful the whole situation was, right there.
Michelle Willits. On the plus side: Her promotion at the Daily Sentinel led to my first full-time job (her old one). On the bad side: Had us take our friend and co-worker out to lunch without telling us they were going to go through her computer looking for personal items in an effort to fire her; years later, her own spiteful exit interview led to hostile work environment. (On the plus side: Hostile work environment led to incredibly more entertaining new job.) Unfortunately, I know she still exists, since we have a mutual Facebook friend.