As I cruise into another wedding anniversary, another birthday, I was thinking about some of the people I've known in my past, the people I grew up with and went to school with, and what's happened (and is happening) to them.
You never know where life takes you:
-- One guy I went to high school with became one of the most powerful people in American media. A genuine billionaire.
-- Another guy became a Tibetan Buddhist lama.
-- Another guy became a successful corporate lawyer and rare-wine collector, then drank himself into "premature, alcohol-induced dementia" and died.
-- One guy became one of the top epidemiologists in the world.
-- One guy became a travel photographer and has visited almost every country on the planet, but hasn't been married or had kids.
-- Several died of AIDS.
-- Two people became celebrity journalists.
-- Several became college professors. One became a Civil War expert.
-- Several became lawyers. At least three became "entertainment lawyers."
-- A couple became doctors.
-- Several people endured severe economic hardship.
-- One woman became a sculptor.
-- One guy I went to college with became a semi-famous "Southern" writer.
-- One guy became a semi-prominent "neo-con."
-- One guy committed suicide, very young.
-- Several people work in television.
-- One woman became one of the top editors in children's book publishing.
-- One runs a plant nursery, specializing in drought-tolerant and indigenous plants.
-- One guy became an elite investment advisor.
-- Some people went into advertising. Some went into publishing.
-- One woman moved to the UK and never came back to the USA.
-- One guy got very big "in women's shoes."
-- Several people have battled cancer. Some of them lost.
-- One guy became a movie producer and director.
-- One woman lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing.
-- One woman, I believe, became an alcoholic and dropped out of sight.
-- One guy was molested by a trusted adult and carries the scars till this day.
-- One guy joined the FBI.
-- One guy made a fortune in commercial real estate.
-- Three people have children who have struggled with mental illness.
-- One guy trains clinical psychologists.
-- One woman co-hosts a cable TV show about Broadway.
-- One goes on horseback-riding vacations, all around the world.
-- Several became actors.
-- Several went into the world of technology. One guy did very well at Apple.
-- One guy took over his family's jewelry business on 47th St. in Manhattan.
-- One woman became a TV host and business journalist.
-- Some people stayed in the East. Some people moved to California.
-- Several people never married.
-- Some people never had children.
-- Some got divorced. Some stayed together.
-- Some came out.
-- Two people lost sons to suicide.
-- A couple of people overdosed on drugs, died young, and had no life at all.
And too many people I've lost track of.
Life is one long, strange, winding ride. You never know what it's going to throw at you.
Have fun, but don't get too carried away.