The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

More Wonders of the Brain

This is a quick post to show that the brain is a wondrous filing cabinet. As is the Internet. Together, they fight crime.

Okay, so to begin, there is a person on my current project whose last name is Pappas. All fine and good. The odd thing is that in my head, I keep calling him Doug. I even wrote it in an email to another person on the team. But his name isn’t Doug. So I started to think – why do I keep wanting to call him Doug? I must know someone else with that name. So of course, now I can’t stop trying to remember. I know it’s not a person from school or work. I also get the sense that it’s someone I knew a while ago, but not just in passing. So I start working through the mental checklist. He’s not from any of my current mailing lists, or from this website. Did I know him from my old BBS? That’s quite possible, and it feels right, timing wise. But that was a loooong time ago. So maybe from CompuServe? I hop over to Google to see what I get. I get a ton of hits, because someone who appears to have been very well-respected in the baseball industry died while hiking about a year and a half ago. I thumb through 22 Google pages of “Doug Pappas” hits and 98% of them were for this guy. Well, I don’t think there was a baseball connection, that doesn’t sound right.

So I start to narrow down my search. Nothing sounds right when I add the word Massachusetts, so it’s not a local thing. So I add CompuServe and get a few hits. I look at the first one, and I know this is the same guy – I did know him from CompuServe. We were both members of at least one similar forum, Rocknet (although we could have been in more than one, this is the one mentioned in the Google hit) in the right timeframe, 1990-ish.

And then it starts coming back. The Google hit says he was into road tripping, and I suddenly realize that he might be one of the two people I used to exchange ugly, horrid postcards with. If true, this would confirm my feeling that I knew this person more than in passing, but not in person, you know? We’d buy the “worst” postcards – the best ones were the old out-of-date ones. And then we’d mail them to each other. So now I’m 90% sure this is the guy…and I check out another link which happens to have his home address, and my stomach kind of lurches because the minute I see it, I recognize it, and thus I have tracked down the Doug Pappas from my past. The unfortunate thing is that this Doug Pappas is the same Doug Pappas who was the editor of the Society for American Baseball Research. The same guy who died while hiking in Big Bend National Park. So in one fell swoop I rediscover an old friend, and find out he is no longer with us.

Stupid brain.

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