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This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'm Mister Popular!

Samson (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

       Recently I got an email with a subject line that read:

Robert, you're standing out as someone folks remember. See who 
remembers you.
         I couldn't help but be a little curious since I had always felt like a bit of a nonentity in school. Back when I had a decent paycheck rolling in every two weeks, I was willing to spend the $36 a year or whatever it was they charged to be able to find out about old classmates.   I actually had some email conversations with a few.  It was kind of fun catching up with people I essentially didn't know.

        Anyway, I was a bit anxious to find out who all had remembered me from the eight schools that I had attended from kindergarten to my graduation from college.   Who could these people be?  I had to know so I quickly opened the email to find the following:

Isn't it nice to know you haven't been forgotten?
1 person said they remembered you.
find out who remembers you »

Someone from the class of 1969 remembered you

Upgrade to see who
         Ya know?  I don't think I'll upgrade and I'm not even going to start back on my basic membership.   One stinkin' person.  I should pay to find out who?    Besides, it's probably like my sister or someone like that.  I guess she still remembers me.   

Battle of the Bands results:  

     This most recent contest was my wackiest ever.  The voting outcome was far different than what I had expected and in the end even I voted differently than I thought I would.  

        If Al Jolson's rendition of "Oh! Susanna" had been part of the contest then it would have been the winner with a total of 13 or 14 votes (there was one wishy-washy Jolson vote that could go either way).  I too would pick Jolson's traditional treatment of Stephen Foster's classic American song--I'm a big fan of Al Jolson.

       However if I stick with my own rules then my vote goes to Yamboo.   I was actually going into this contest with the Byrds as my favorite pick, but then Yamboo started growing on me and I switched sides--good-bye 70's, hello 90's techno-pop.   I think many were drawn into the infectious sound of Yamboo.  Yes, the girls won this round with 12 votes to the 8 votes collected by the Byrds.

        The next contest on July 15th will be perhaps stranger than this one was, but probably less confusing.  The next Battle is a continuation of the "Oh! Susanna" saga with a turn in a peculiar direction with some interesting connections to another song that became a very big hit in the 60's and later in the 80's.  Please return to vote on my next Battle.

          Have you ever joined    Do you keep up with your old schoolmates?    How popular were you in high school?


  1. Classmates sounds like a waste. I can do a Google search if I want to find people.
    And I was a band geek. How popular do you think I was?

  2. I have fond memories of elementary and early middle, but when I moved to a new state unlike my first, I really didn't care for middle and high school. I never fit in and didn't care for either schools' atmosphere. Someone added me onto a site and I had my name removed.

  3. Never tried Classmates--it sounds like a waste of money. Facebook is easier--and free. I was pretty invisible in high school.

  4. I'm stunned Classmates is still around. I found most of my old school mates through Facebook, which is free.

  5. Oh my gosh, I got the same email a few years ago. It made me feel so good to "be remembered" until I saw, just like you, it was one person and I had to pay to find out who it was. No thanks. I have Facebook if I truly want to go back in time.

  6. I would never do the classmates thing. I've moved pretty far from the place I grew up. High school was a great time for me and I had a large group of friends.

  7. Alex -- actually does offer certain networking opportunities that can be interesting and not apt to be found readily with a Google search. But I have to be in a better financial state to blow money on it.

    Medeia-- I find it interesting to hear what people say about high school. Years later I found that even some of the kids I thought were popular felt insecure and didn't think they were part of the "in" crowd.

    Sarah-- Classmates is relatively cheap as far as those things go, but you really have to use it in depth to make it worthwhile. Just another form of social media and one you have to pay for.

    L.Diane-- I think Classmates is probably on shaky ground with all the social media competition out there. They've revamped a few times over the years but I don't think it's helped. They probably need to go free and use a model like Facebook has done.

    Elsie -- I get that email on a regular basis. It's really kind of crazy and Classmates may want to reevaluate that strategy.

    Susan GK -- Back when I did subscribe to Classmates I was actually trying to do some research about the cities where I lived during elementary school. I got some interesting information through some of the discussion forums so it was kind of worthwhile at the time. Never reconnected in any lasting way with ex-classmates though.


  8. With my luck the one person among my classmates who remembers me would be one of those 2 boys who threw rocks at me and called me names every day as I walked to the local high school.

  9. I think that's what facebook is for, isn't it?

  10. I'm sure it's a scam. Like you said, the one person they have listed who remembers you is probably a relative or just some name they managed to find that was definitely associated with your same graduating class. (The person probably didn't even contact the site and has no idea that he or she is being claimed as a person who remembers you.)

    And the way I look at it, anyone from my high school years that I liked enough to retain a friendship with for decades is someone I HAVE retained a friendship with throughout these decades. Anyone else... well, there's probably good reasons that I lost touch with them over time.

    Your NEXT 'BOTB' is going to be even stranger than this last one was? Hmmm... We may have to start up a petition to kick you outta the club.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  11. I admit I've been to the site, but never signed-up.

  12. I think I have a free membership by Classmates, though I've never upgraded, and it's been years since I've been there. Facebook now does for free what sites like Classmates used to do for a fee. I also went to three high schools, and care most about the people I knew from the first school. I was in Albany schools for 11 years, and so remember those people so much better than the ones from Pennsylvania or Massachusetts.

  13. Know what you mean. I let my membership go, too.

  14. Glad to see Jolson would have won. Still the favorite of this 'cheater'.

  15. Anna-- You might be surprised at the number of people who remember you.

    Andrew -- It's all social media with variations on what they do and how they do it. But Facebook has most of the information or gives one an opportunity to find it. Actually may have been a precursor to Facebook. At least, I heard about it first.

    StMc-- Classmates is not a scam anymore than Facebook is, but it is a faltering site since Facebook does so much more and since they charge for it. Actually I think you might enjoy certain aspects of my next BOTB post.

    Southpaw-- I was new to the internet when I first signed up.

    Carrie Anne--Classmates goes about finding school contacts in a somewhat different way than FB, but who cares enough to pay for it and if not enough people care then Classmates will not have enough data to make it useful.

    Shelly-- At first it was a novelty, but then it lost its appeal especially after they hiked the prices.

    FAE-- Yeah, Jolson is definitely my favorite and I was glad to see so many preferred his version.


  16. wouldn't be much of a benefit for me. Everyone I would even think to connect with from High School, I already have as a Facebook friend. Even people who barely acknowledged me in the hallway now want to be my friend. Ah well. At least I'm popular after the fact.

  17. I wouldn't pay to get in contact with any of my old class members. I wasn't very popular in school. I wouldn't even reconnect if it was free. At least you have a healthy attitude about it all.

  18. I'd be willing to bet the "person that remembers you" doesn't even exist. Kinda like that reader site that tried to snap up Google Reader refugees by sending out "27 people are following you on (whatever the hell it was). Sign up to find out who they are." They made the huge mistake of sending it referencing my bottle caps page. Not even a good lie.

  19. I don't even remember people from high school, why should anyone remember me? I get friend requests on Facebook from high school friends and have to drag out an old yearbook to figure out who they are.

  20. Years ago I had signed up for Classmates, but I never did anything with it. In fact, I forgot it existed until you mentioned it.

  21. I got a similar solicitation from them once, and the email said "Tom A****ne" was trying to contact me. This guy was indeed an actual old high school friend I had lost contact with. So I went on Classmates and found that since he was not a member either, that I'd have to join and pay $15 to get his email address for contact. Apparently since he'd contacted me first, he was able to send the request through Classmates, but not ACTUALLY contact me.

    Frustrated and unwilling to pay $15 for their service, I found I WAS able to go onto and alter my own name and send HIM a request that HE join. So I changed my name. I changed it to:

    "Paulat PaulSmithdotcom"

    I received an almost immediate email from him, exchanging phone numbers. "Paul you cheap bastard!" were his first words on the line.

    He's right, and I am. Beat the system, though!


  22. I've been able to keep in touch with a lot of people from my class with Facebook. While, for me, it's not the most ideal venue (I really hate FB), but it's free.

    I've always looked at things like "" as swindles, anyway.

  23. Beat ya Lee, I went to 10 different schools and I don't remember any of my classmates and I don't suppose any of them remember me. It's such a long time ago anyway. I remember a few of my teachers but would be surprised if any of them were still around any more now.

    Missed Battle of the Bands this time.

  24. Loni-- School is an odd social environment. Not many people seemed to pay me much mind either.

    Murees-- I wasn't popular either, but people change in certain ways that can turn them into good friends later in life. And some are good to make contact with for other reasons than friendship.

    CW-- I get some odd emails like that too. Besides, on Classmates there are many more than 1 who remember me because I've gotten emails from them.

    Nana-- I have a lot of Facebook friends like that. After so many years it's kind of fun to catch up with these former non-friends.

    Patricia -- Most of the time I forgot about too but then I started researching parts of my past and the site became useful to me.

    Sheboyganboy-- I think something like that happened to me. I began a brief email exchange with someone but the relationship never went far and now I can't even recall who had contacted me.

    Mark-- I think has a legitimate goal as a business model and serves a useful purpose to some. Mostly the "swindle" is in the mind of the person believing some fantasy about contacting old school mates.

    Jo -- You'd probably be surprised at the number of people who do remember you. High school is a time of desperate loneliness for many who look for friends and fantasize about friendships.


  25. I was on classmates prior to Facebook. Now I just catch up with people on FB. I'm not paying for classmates and I do occasionally get those emails that someone remembered me. I wasn't popular in school - I had a lot of friends but I always felt like if I wasn't there, I wouldn't really be missed. Russell had a different perception of me and said that he thought I was one of the most popular girls in our high school b/c I was always talking with someone or in a group. My cousin even said that she thinks my perception of high school and 'no one liked me, I had no friends' is badly skewed.

  26. 1969 the year i left school and started working. . . . How times fly, I still see one friend on a regular basis from back then but I can't remember any names for anyone else so thats a bad sign.

  27. If someone remembers anything from 1969 they were clearly not having enough fun! those sites just troll for people and I think it is just as compelling as when an ad tells me that ellen degeneres was lying about her skin care. I remember you Lee - you were that wild kid who wouldn't stop juggling everything that anyone tossed you. You were very hot and all the girls talked about you in the washroom. I bet that's true!

  28. Hi Lee I'm back.
    Being remembered is a wonderful thing though I have moved quite a wy from my old school. I was only interested in music at school. These days only my son in Spain and brother remember's the others loss.
    Great to be back.

  29. JoJo-- I think we all have very different perceptions of what others thought about us. Loneliness and insecurity are a part of being a teenager.

    Rob-- As long as I remember my wife's name that's the most important thing. My kids are used to me forgetting their names.

    Jan-- I wish I'd known about it then if it were true.

    Yvonne - So good to see you back! You are unforgettable!


  30. I have no found memories of high school, for I was not popular at all (250+ lbs. and short). If I want to connect with former classmates (and I have) I do Facebook.

    Father Nature's Corner

  31. It had to be hard going to eight different schools. I'm sure that if you stayed at one school long enough, the results would be a lot different, The important thing is that we know and respect you now, and you've made a difference in our lives.


  32. So the T & A girls won! Well I voted for them because it was fun to listen to and the Byrds, whom I regard quite highly, were actually boring. I would never pay to find out about my old classmates since I don't care. I was severely bullied when in high school so I have no feelings towards most of these people

  33. I remember checking out the Classmates site at one time. Actually connected with someone who was a friend in school, but we didn't keep in touch for long.

  34. I get those emails all the time. I love that they ask me if I "recognize this old classmate" then when I open the e-mail the picture is of someone who didn't attend my high school. Of course, there are lots of pictures of my old classmates...if I want to pay for the next level of membership. So far, I've resisted.

    Like Alex, I was a band geek. The only people who might remember me would be other band members. Hey, maybe there should be a social media site for bandmates. (Geeks R Us?)

  35. I think my husband had a membership to classmates and I was able to piggy back on his membership. It was fun when I was using it, only the people I wanted to connect with weren't on it.

    I have reconnected with some friends from high school on facebook, but nothing very in depth.

    I'm really bad about keeping up with old friends. I find it hard when our lives have gone in different directions. I have one friend whose political views are the opposite of mine and I find it extremely difficult to even read her facebook posts. I prefer to remember her fondly from high school.

    As for being popular, I wasn't. It was an awkward time and I'm glad to be well past that age.


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I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.