I Don’t Know Jack

As I continue to sort through boxes and boxes of saved odds and ends from decades of my life, including such quotidian objects as telephone bills and bank statements (not, I hasten add, all statements, just a random few here and there), I am frequently stymied as I encounter names of presumed friends or acquaintances that I no longer recognize.

Who, for example, was Bob Golden? He’s an entry in my little red phone book and from the placement, I think he must have been someone I knew in Harrisburg. There’s no address or area code, just a phone number. I don’t remember the name and can’t place him.

I do recall a Bob who was a nurse that I knew fairly well. Could it be him? Maybe. But I can’t be sure. I remember he was the first person to tell me about the stages of grief.

Then I came across a little note pad where I was keeping track of long distance calls I was making when I was living in Richland. It dates from 1976-77, and most of the names (it only includes first names, Brian, Jane, Gene, etc.) I recognize.

But then, in March, 1977, just before I moved away from Richland, one of the last entries is for a 10 minute call to Jack.

Jack who?

I don’t recall knowing any Jacks. Well, except Jack London, but he was a co-worker at DPSC in Philadelphia and I wouldn’t know him until years later.

So who was this Jack that I called in 1977? There’s no entry for a Jack in my little red phone book. And I didn’t include the city in my phone log. Unless I come across the phone bill for that period that lists the city, I guess I’m stuck, because I don’t know Jack.

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