Thursday, March 31, 2011


Relative Quiet
Last night I went to see  I Am-  a film documentary by Tom Shadyac. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in thinking about their/our collective existence as a species.   Take someone to see it who will discuss the ideas with you afterwards.  If you miss it in the theatre, highly possible with a very limited release, access it via your favorite  media and watch it at home.  If you don't take something to heart from all the ideas presented in the film,  you may be past hope.
More Later,

Friday, March 25, 2011

Remembering what you forgot
I have a lot of passions in my life. In addition to the art of ventriloquism I love to draw, write and think about philosophy.  Actually I like to think about everything, but philosophy is one of those things that impact my life directly. 
Philosophy and spirituality come together in my mind somewhere as I know that the right philosophy of life is ultimately the same as living life correctly. Living life correctly is what spirituality means to me.   Much of the time spirituality gets all bogged down in the dogma of religion. One finds themselves blindly following rules of a clubhouse called "church" which often have no bearing on living a better life. 
My drawing, writing, thinking desires sometime come together in wonderful ways.  I sit with a large drawing pad and print words and phrases that I hear while watching television.  Most of the time it is a jumbled bunch of lettering that doesn't seem to connect to anything worthwhile.  Occasionally there is a moment when it all comes together and something useful happens.  

This is the case when I was watching a PBS special of a Wayne Dwyer lecture on "The Power of Intention".  As I was listening I would write down the phrases that struck me at that moment, and there were plenty that rang true that evening. Somehow that transcription transcended the moment and became art.  I hung the page on my office wall and refer to it often. I call it "The Scroll". Those phrases hit me again with the same force now as they did when they came from Wayne Dwyer a year ago.

I referred to the scroll this morning and found a really wonderful contemplation for the rest of the day, and hopefully for a long time after.  On the bottom right hand side of the page are four words:  "No Where and Now Here."  Same letters, but the two words are polar opposites in concept.  The difference is just nt placement of the space.  It was just what I needed to remember today.  Just when you think things are going NO WHERE you can move your space and things are suddenly NOW HERE.  I am unsure in what context Dr. Dwyer used them, but the truth of the meaning surpasses use.

I need to know how to use my space, when to take a pause, where to take a breath in my concepts.
Echart Tolle says that *now* is the space between our  past and future, in fact he insists that there is no past nor future, there is only now. 
I can always take a different space, realize the now, when I am feeling no where, and realize I am actually now here. I'll try my best to remember that, but I am glad I can look at my Scroll on the office wall to help me remember when I forget.
Have a great weekend.  It is now here and it is up to all of us to pause in the right place and remember. 
As you were, 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Friend Peter Rich
Back in the days before email and blogs, Peter Rich was a performing ventriloquist on the road  going club to club. It was a time when most cities had a supper club and they actually did shows.  We met when I was 14 years old and Peter was performing at the Texas State Fair.  After that meeting, I became Peter's Pen Pal (try to say that without moving your mouth).
He would write me postcards from the various venues he was working.  Not a long missive perhaps not even the length of a Tweet, usually just a funny line or two. I think he communicated with a lot of us kid vents back then and he had a lot of postcards to write.
He also wrote a column called Peter Rich Rites in an early 60's vent magazine called The Oracle and later for a vent newsletter called The Vent -o - Gram.  I always liked his articles and humor.  A writer ventriloquist... there is no wonder why he would come to influence me.  Twenty.   Thirty  FORTY  never mind... This many years later we are still communicating and still via the post office.  He just sent me this clipping from San Antonio, Texas newspaper.  Here it is:
I bought Zingo, one of Frank Marshall's figures, when I was a teenager, and converted him into the $6 Dollar man, a cheap knock off of the $6Million Dollar man who was on a television show at the time.  Zingo didn't make it into THE TWO AND ONLY but he is still a part of my life.... as is Mr. Rich.  He doesn't "do" the computer and he may never see this blog.  If you know him, give him a call or send him a card to say Happy 90th birthday. Here is to you Peter Rich... a man that is Rich in more than just talent and name. Thanks for your friendship.
As you were,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Twilight Zone
Every one's had that psychic experience of dreaming something before it happened, or being in a new place you swear you have been before. The problem is these events don't happen in laboratory conditions. They are hard to prove and sometimes even harder to remember. However, once in awhile it occurs when there is no doubt that a strange phenomenon took place.
Here is the background. I go into detail for clarity. 
As with any household repairs when you up grade one area of the house it dominoes to something else.  Such was the case with new windows in the front bedroom.  The windows are great but the old ones were wired to the monitored alarm.  To reconnect the new windows required an upgrade to the entire security system.  We called ADT and a security specialist, PC name for "salesman", came to the house.  Nice guy named Dave.  I spent about an hour with Dave going over  what needed to be done.  He arranged for a crew to come out two days later and do the work.  They were able to connect everything but a backup wireless access, because the module was on back order.
Dave calls the next day and says, "Just wanted to see if you had the coolest security system in the neighborhood."  I told him we were not having a party to celebrate but that it was fine.  I reminded him that we were still missing the module.  He said he would get right on it and the installers would be back within the week.
The week goes by and I called Dave on Saturday.  He thought they had already been out to complete the job.  He said when he got to the office on Monday morning he would take care of it.  I didn't think more about it, and certainly thought no more about the jovial Dave.

It is now Monday morning. Although I went to bed late I got up about 7:00 AM when Sandi went to work. I had a coffee but after she left I got sleepy again and went back to bed for a nap. Now is when it gets spooky.  
I have a new app for the iPad that is called "Frequencies." I'm not sure how scientific it is but it claims that the wavy white noises it produces are actually delta and alpha brain wave frequencies. I know enough to know that we have alpha and delta brain waves.  The alpha is the frequency at which you dream, and delta the frequency of deep sleep.   Supposedly this app helps with relaxation, meditation, creativity, deep sleep and even stimuli when you need it.  So I set it to meditation, and quickly fell sleep.  
I have this very vivid dream that someone is knocking on the front door. It is as real a dream as I have ever had.  I remember going down the hall to the front door and looking out the frosted cut glass window.   There was someone there but it was dark and I could only see a shadow of the person.  I turned on the entrance hall light but it did not help me identify the person outside.  In my dream I remember thinking, "wow the new security system is not on, should I open the door to this guy?"  I turned on the porch light and the mans face was clearly visible.  I was relieved to see that it was the security salesman and I said, "Oh it's Dave Trax." Until that moment I was not sure what his last name was, but I said it out loud in the dream.  He came in and said,  "You should have your security system on....".  For some reason I was embarrassed and started making excuses, when I was awaken by the telephone.  It was not a number that I recognized but blinking the cob webs out of my eyes and ears I answered it.  The voice said, "Hey, It's Dave Trax." The conversation was short he knew he had waked me up and just said that the guys would be back the next day.
I had seen this guy only once in my life and talked to him twice on the phone. In my dream I know his face and his full name, and in the dream he is coming into my house. Moments after that vivid dream he calls me on the telephone. 
Now.. that really happened.  I have had the experience before but never so close together that I could prove the dream came before the event.  Usually I end up talking myself out of it being a true psychic event... but not this time. 
I doubt that I can create the affect on demand, but plan to experiment with that Frequencies app a few more times before I find another ghost to chase.  
Move over Edgar Casey.... 
As you were,

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Show Must Go On...
In Memory of Rando the Rat Bastard...
Although our original Rat has left the secure job with the Two and Only Company, he will not be forgotten.  There is substance to the idea that instead of leaving the show Rando was left behind in  a fit of prima donnaism in the Florida panhandle.  He graciously participated in the joke that could have caused him to go missing, and might not have been ready to leave his job.  None the less, we hope that he is happy where ever he has ended up.  
In the finest tradition of show biz there is always an actor in the wings ready to take the part and continue on.  I found the Stand in Rat.  I'm not sure when we hired the Stand in Rat and I never thought we would actually call him into service.  I think it was insurance against him suddenly loosing his voice. He was in the prop trunk ready and able to jump in.  
That is the thing about show business one day you are hidden in an old Broadway trunk and the next day you are calling the show.
His name is Rando the Rat Bastard, named after my friend Randall who came to New York during my Broadway run.  He had a night off and rather than come to see my show.... he got tickets to the Lion King.   That's right.... the Lion King.  (He didn't actually see my show until it came to the Colony for the second time four years later.)  Randall became Rando the Rat Bastard from that night on, and this is his name sake.  Technically he is Rando the Rat Bastard II, like Popes the New York Rat changes his name when he is called into the higher service of show biz.  Having a numbered name is not that unusual.  
Few will know that he is a replacement actor.  He has his lines down and delivers them with the same passion and Sinatra impression as the original cast member. Please welcome the newest old addition to the show.... Rando II.  
The show must and of course will go on.  Good luck to Rando I - in your new life away from show business.
As you were,

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Rat has rung down the curtain...
Since we have been doing The Two and Only there has been a stuffed rat that has called the show to start. It was given to me by my friend Chris Wallace as an off Broadway gift... it is a New York Rat.  Dressed in a fedora and tux, smoking a cigar and sporting a fine line moustache he is a typical New York lounge rat.  If you punch him in the stomach he will sing three alternate phrases of the song New York, New York in the best Sinatra impression a rat can do.  At "30 minute call" the Rat would sing "If I can make it there, I'd make it anywhere."  At 15 minutes he would sing, "It's up to you, New York". And at five minutes before places the rat would sing the final phrase, "New York."
Lori, Suzie, Greg, Julia, Ginger and now John have kept up the stage manager's tradition of hitting the rat pre-show.  The rat has even traveled to London to do the show.  We have never done a show without the rat until last week.  
On the first show of the long trip last week, we could not find the rat in the trunks.  He is always there but was not to be found.  "Surely at the next stop we will find it," we thought.  But even after and exhaustive search of all the trunks in the show, there was no rat to be found.  It baffled me for a moment until John and I figured out we had not seen the rat since the show where I lost my temper on the sound guy.  Names and venues not mentioned since A BLOG IS NOT A DIARY.  
As a joke I hung the rat by a noose in the dressing room.  It was my not so subtle comment on being so upset.  John got a big kick out of the fact that the rat had committed suicide at this particular venue.  We both had contemplated the same scenario earlier that day.  But after the laugh was over, and the show was done, we could not wait to get out of that theatre.  Evidently in the haste we left the rat hanging by a noose from one of the cabinet knobs. 
I miss the rat.  I should have been more careful in packing him away that night.  He was not at his usual place so the routine was broken.  It happens. And if the rat were ever going to off him self and leave the tour it would have been that venue and that show.  I think it is a fitting end. 
But I am sure that the next person who came into that dressing room thought this was some sort of farewell art work, or innuendo.  I can hear it as a TMZ quote, "And he was so pissed off he hung a rat in the dressing room, as some statement of disgust."
In the words of my friend Harry.  It is the story that counts. Forever the rat will have given his life at one of the toughest shows we have done. Viva la Bastardo Raton.  I will attempt to find a replacement, and the show will go on.
As you were,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thank You New Jersey
Sort of seems like we have been here for three days, but in reality we have been here only about 16 hours. We are all very tired from this marathon. It will take me a few days to sort out all the feelings and memories to put them down in blogism.
It is a lonely place up on stage alone even when I have a cast of 11 imaginary partners. To have John and Steve holding the rope while I scale the wall again is very comforting. They make it look wonderful and in the theatre tonight it looked particularly beautiful. In the last three nights the two of them have programed three different lighting boards. Each board interprets the cues a little differently so it is not just a matter of loading the show and rehearsing it. The audience never sees that work and I get to take the bow, but as I have said before, A one person show simply refers to the cast, not the other incredible talents that are not seen on stage.
I met several wonderful fans after the show tonight. One man was seeing the show again for the fourth time. He had even seen it at the Atlantic Theatre. Two other gentlemen drove 90 miles to see it, one for the second time.
I am thrilled that the show resonates in such a special way with so many people. I set out to write a personal journey of my path... I never thought it would touch so many in the ways it does.
I'm beat and need to get some rest. Thank you, Woodstock, Vermont, Port Wahington, New York and Vineland, New Jersey. Good night.
As you were,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Minor Scare
I was all ready to up date my blog when my iPad would not turn on. I did all the usual things to wake it up but it was dead as Charlie Sheen's career. I remembered that I had the same trouble with an iPod once and there is a way to hard boot it. I figured that Apple had created the same back door for their iPad. I looked on line with my Blackberry to see if there was any information on a dead iPad and indeed there was a solution. I eventually got it to work and I feel like a scientist who has just discovered the cure for cancer. We depend on electronics so much and when they do not turn on instantly it becomes a panic. The thought of not having my iPad for the plane ride home in a few days was disconcerting. I think I will be okay now.
The show went well tonight. Every venue is different and there are always adjustments to be made, but that is what makes live theatre so exciting. You go out and do what you do and it is never the same twice. This theatre is a hundred years old and there was a intimacy to it that was charming. They are used to having concert type shows here and I think it was a little bit of an adjustment to mount our show. It all worked and I am now thinking in disbelief that we actually did two shows in two nights in two different states. It really feels like Vaudeville.
Radar ran the lights tonight. There was aa house tech but he was very willing to have someone else run the show who knew it. A couple of hours before show time John and Radar were on head set talking in a lanuage that only they seem to know. John was in the audience looking at the lighting cues and Radar was up in the booth programing them. I sat behind John while this was going on, marveling at the knowledge these guys have. Because there was no booth per say John called the show from backstage left. It was odd to have him there, and he said he felt odd not being out front. When my stage managers have called the show from backstage they have always been stage left for some reason. I am comfortable with that, but really would rather have my eyes and ears out front.
Tomorrow it is a 5:30 am call in the lobby so we can get to the next venue. It has all gone too fast and I am just beginning to settle in to this hectic schedule. John and I talked about the magic of the theatre and how is exists as an illusion for the moment. We set it up, work it out, do it for an audience and then pack it all up in cases again. At this moment there is no evidence at this theatre that this show even existed. It was only for the moment and only for the peole who were there. Something about that impermanence that is really fascinating to me. Like a cloud in the sky that is there for a moment seeming very solid and gone the next without a trace.
i have not had time to really get the full story of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The reports I hear from people who have an update on the story are really frightening. Living on the cusp of the ring of fire in LA, earthquakes are really too close to home for me. As I contemplate my illusionary life, I am anchored by the reality of what others are going through across the globe.
So off tomorrow to Vineland, New Jersey. Ready or not NJ here we come. Don't bink or you will miss us. It only happens at the prescribed time... so I hope you are there.
As you were,

Editors note for story below

Sandi wrote me this morning:
"You are gonna take some heat from saying Donald O'Conner in White Christmas (he wasn't in it) Danny Kaye was."
I stand corrected.
As you were
Great Neck
This will be brief. It it 3:30am and we just arrived at the Inn at Great Neck, NY. It was a five hour drive from Vermont. We went through four states in the rain and snow pulling a trailer with the set. The guys, John and Steve will have to be at the theatre at 9:00am. How glamorous is show busines?
The Historic Heritage Hall in Woodstock Vermont was a great old hemp house theatre. The crew had all the lights hung before we arrived and we were ready to do run-throughs by lunch. That is the way it is supposed to go. It was great. It snowed so the crowd was light, but extremely responsive and smart. They got every subtlety and joke. John said the show was spot on. He never blows smoke at me and tells it like it is, so if he said the show was "on" then it must have been. It felt good, and although I did not have any paranormal experiences, i am certain that theatre is haunted. It had a great patina to the atmosphere. The only thing missing was categories for the monkey song game. Lori forgot to send them so we had to wing it. I went with the default of "Stars and Stripes Forever". If you don't know the monkey song game we play during the show, it is too much to explain tonight, remind me tomorrow and I will spell out the rules.
Lovely time in Vermont and I wish we had been there more than a night to reach more people. The Blue Horse Inn, bed and breakfast was beautiful. One of the best beds and most relaxing places I have ever stayed. Carrie the owner was terrific. I would love to come back and really stay sometime for a vacation. It was snowy and charming and at one point I thought I was Donald O'Connor doing White Christmas. The only difference was Donald played to a full house in the movie.
I have taken to calling Steve, Radar, after Radar O'Reily from Mash. He seems to anticipate everything I need before I even think I need it. He even loaded snacks and drinks in a cooler for the long drive. What a great pleasure to work with him. He and John speak "techy" amongst themselves and I am lost some of the time. This was our longest hop for this leg and it seemed to go as fast as a five hour drive after a show and load out could.
Tomorrow is another theatre and another set up and strike. We will spend the night here tomorrow night, or technically tonight, and go to New Jeresy for the Saturday night show.
That is about it for now. I am ready to go to sleep now. I was so tired on the drive now that we are here I have this false second wind which is sure not to last very long.
Goodnight dear bloggies. More later.
As you were,

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Woodstock Vermont
I have never been to Vermont before and it is absolutely charming if Woodstock is a good representative of the State. With the snow on the ground and the Currier and Ives architecture I think we have been transported back to Christmas time. We are staying at the Blue Horse Inn, a bed and breakfast that is next door to the theater. I thought the hotel in Richardson was great, but this charming little place is even closer to the theatre.
Steve Bearse, the youngest member of the Two and Only, great guy and talented on almost as many levels as John Ivy, met John and me at the airport in Boston. We drove from there to Vermont. Since we are doing three shows in three nights, sometimes a six hour drive apart we needed Steve to help us mount this show quickly.
I met Steve when he did the sound for me at the Cape Playhouse. He is wise beyond his years. At the Playhouse I thought I was going to enlighten him on the superstition of whisting backstage. I said, "Do you know where that superstiion started?" Although I had the information all ready to go he informed me that sailors used to man the ropes at "hemp house theaters" in the old days. They were high up in the grid and usually drunk. On a ship, sailors communicate with signals from a bosins whistle. In the old days if you whistled on stage it might lead a drunken sailor to drop a set on your head. With that Steve told me that the Playhouse used to be a hemp house and the hemp rigging was still in the grid. Before long we were climbing up dark ladders to see the old top grid and spy the view from the Playhouse coupla. I heard myself repeating a line from the movie Casablanca, "This could be the beginning of a wonderful friendship."
Steve also ran the sound for us at the York Theatre last year in New York City. Like so many other members of the Two and Only Teddybears I am blessed by knowing Steve. Although I know that this next week will be a challenge, I have the feeling it will go way to fast for me. I love working with the likes of John and Steve. To have their level of artisty supporting my show is a fairytale scenerio. I could perhaps be the luckiest most blessed guy on the planet.
As you were,

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Final Act
In the almost forgotten saga of KLM and the lost luggage which ended, as you remember, in an assumed home invasion robbery, there was one final adjustment to make.  I am referring to the reimbursement check we were to get for the out of pocket expenses resulting in our 3 week delay of luggage.
It took a couple of weeks to find the right forms and the right addresses to send our receipts.  Just when I was ready to send them I got an email telling me that I needed a "claim code".  I had to apply for a "claim code" which was hidden in the labyrinth of website links.  
However, I was determined and kept very good records with all the tickets and numbers I gathered along the way.  I had everything that they asked for and sent the paper work off to ether world.  After several weeks just as I was beginning to wonder if the info. had arrived I got an email that told me the claim had been approved and a check would be forth coming.  It did not say an amount nor a date when it might be "coming forth".  

Again after a couple of weeks and nothing had arrived, we got a check in the mail.  Here it is.  It came from Delta since the original trip was booked on Delta.  The co-share flight status was part of the problem, since I kept getting handed off to the other airlines in a tag team denial of responsibility.  But Delta finally came forth and delivered on their promise to make it right. 

I am always happy when I can retire a file, and this KLM luggage file is finally retired.  I suppose if you can wait long enough everything will eventually be squared away. That principle works with just about everything but conflict in the middle east.
As you were,

Monday, March 07, 2011

Monday... Monday
When I moved away for the summer to work for Six Flags over Georgia I bought a music player that used tiny cartridges, much smaller than the 8 track tapes that were in most everyone's car. These mini-cartridges were about the size of a small floppy disk as I remember and each cartridge was only an album long.  After buying the player I didn't have enough money for very many album/cartridges.  I think I bought two with me to Georgia.  By the time I got back from Georgia the entire thing was obsolete.  They no longer sold the small cartridges and the 8 tracks were also on the way out. 
One of the only albums I owned was the Mamas and the Papas, which had Monday, Monday and California Dreamin' on it. At the time I did not know that I would someday be a resident of California and California Dreamin' would take on a whole new meaning in my life.  Back then, Monday.. Monday was my anthem.  Not just because it was one of the few songs I could listen to on my little machine, I liked what it said.  Rarely can I think of this day of the week without some part of that song repeating itself in my mind.  
I write this because I am contemplating my Blog this Monday. I took some heat from agents, promoters and producers for some of the things I wrote about the venues on the first leg of the Truck tour.  What got back to me was a couple of promoter/buyers saying, "We hear Jay likes to talk about the venues on his blog." That is true, I do like to share my experiences.  Anyone who has checked into this blog over the years knows that most of my recollections are Valentines to the audience and theatre, or things that struck me funny about being on the road.  I have never had a venue say thanks for saying nice things, but one of the few times I talk about a sound guy with an attitude, suddenly people are upset that I am "talking about venues." 
I am caught between the desire to be as honest as Spaulding Gray but not wanting to hurt any one's feelings. (With the exception of the sound guy....still can't believe him.) 
Here is my new deal.  I will not write from the venue.  The entry that got the negative comments and notice was sent from my dressing room during a very long tech day.  I needed to get back to the hotel, after the show, and evaluate the entire event and not just that moment of madness caused by some bucolic boom-boxer.  To all you venue promoters who are reading this wondering what I might have to say about an up an coming evening at your facility; Just be ready for our show.  The show is not a comic with a stool and a spot light, we don't do sound checks, we do sound rehearsals, the show has major lighting cues and we need the minimal stuff as spelled out in our rider.  It is a long day to set the show if everything that needs to be done before hand is completed.  Otherwise it is a nightmare.
One of the spaces last run called up two days before we were to show up saying they didn't have some of our requirements.  It was obvious that they had just read the rider. 
If everything is ready when we arrive then the only things that I will have to write about is the funny, wonderful, exciting moments of the event. Personally I would like to get back to that kind of observation.  
As you were,

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Touching all the Bases
I came home to a Wifi outage.  I am fairly certain that my house is electronically haunted.  Just before I left for this leg of the tour Time Warner was working on the cable and my Internet service was out for a couple days. But it was working fine and better than ever as I hit the road.  I was sure the improvements had helped my service.
A day or so later Sandi tells me that the "yellow lights are blinking on those thingys around the house." I told her to call the cable company and see if there was an outage.  She did. There wasn't an outage, but whatever the cable guy told Sandi to do to help fix the problem.... did not solve the "yellow thingy blinking" issue.  That was the job of "Jay Johnson - Super Geek" when he returns home.  No rest for the weary troubadour, I had to fix it since I couldn't even get my Ipad to go on line .  It took me all day with several successes and many failures.  It was like trying to keep several plates spinning at once.  If one light was green three were out, if two were green one was yellow, if several were green, one would blink yellow, once they were all green and there was no connection to the Internet.
With that behind me I am able to think back on the shows of the last week.  With family issues and back stage politics it seems that my time on stage was the least dramatic part of my life this month. I don't want to remember the shows by the difficulty behind the scenes, I just want to remember the reaction of the audience.  I would say by that scale it was a real success.
But the real story is this: At 3:09 yesterday the phone rang.  A voice says, "Is this Jay Johnson?"  As I always answer before admitting to being anyone I say, "Who is calling?"  The man says, "This is Robert Frazier from Beaumont, Texas".  (Scoobydoo flash back music......)
My first year at Six Flags Bob Frazier was a star singer in the show.  He was a great guy, older than me but a friend. We kept in touch and I soon found myself moving to Astroworld to work in a show that Bob Frazier was also in.  We decided to share an apartment together in Houston.
Finding an apartment that we could afford was made more difficult by the fact that I am white and Bob is black, and this is Houston, Texas in the late 60's.  I don't think I ever really understood the silent face of racism until then.  We shared a couple of apartments together and  eventually I stayed in Houston and we were living together year round. We took work where we could get it and did Astroworld in the Summers.
I met Sandi one of those summers and moved out of an apartment with Bob Frazier into an apartment with my new wife.  Later Bob got married and I was best man at his wedding.  He and Judy lived close by and we became the two couples that did everything together.
I moved to LA and five years after that Bob and Judy moved here to seek the same road that Sandi and I had found.  It was tougher for Bob, a lot of prime dues time had passed and he had to take jobs other than singing.  He even started working for the handyman that we used all the time.
He and Judy were divorced and Bob moved back to Houston and married another woman.  Sandi and I were with them once on a visit to see her parents.  I got a couple of letters from Bob, found out he and Josefina split and I never heard from him again. 
I send letters to his old address and even called Josefina to get his current address.  She said she was passing all my letters on to him, but I never heard back.
(The scene slowly fades to current times - 22 years later).  I have tried to find Bob on line, sent people to Houston to check out numbers, sent letters but never heard from Bob.  He was such a great friend and we had so many memories together I have felt sad that I didn't know where he was, or as we say.... IF he still was.
Then yesterday he called and said, this is Bob Frazier from Beaumont Texas.  I said, "Bob Roomie?" (which is what my 3 year old kid called him when he lived here).  He was confused for a moment and said,  "Frazier, my name is Bob Frazier."  I paused and said, "Right, Robert Raul Roomie Frazier."  He laughed and said.... "Oh yeah, hey Roomie."  We had a long talk but it was a, can't believe it conversation.  I got his number and address, he doesn't have a computer so I will have to keep up with him in more familiar ways.  I said I did not want to fall out of touch again.   We have many more years to catch up on.
You never know what the day holds when you are stuck in Wifi hell until the old fashioned phone rings and it is a voice from a time gone by.  I am so glad to be back in touch with my friend.  Now both my Roomies are back in my life and the world is good.
As you were,