When I was small, we lived in New York City, and I attended the same Kindergarten as her daughter, Tessa Dahl. My mom would (whenever Patricia Neal came up in the news) regale me about the contacts they'd had setting up play dates between us, as Tessa was quite taken by this "Bwendan Twipp" in her class, and would talk about me all the time.
I became painfully aware that really the only TWO people in the world who could personally attest to this story are now gone. Needless to say, I have very little memory of stuff from ages 4-5 (although I have a few very clear memories, which makes me wonder WHY those stuck with me), and, frankly, I really don't remember Tessa beyond the stories my mom told me (she did have a framed thing with clips from when Tessa was featured in "The New Beauties" edition of Time magazine in 1975 made as a "joke gift" for me, so I have a mental image of her as a high-school senior).
I have, from time to time, wondered if my name would mean anything to her these days, nearly 50 years down the road. I doubt it (not that it matters, of course), but it's just another of those things that speaks to the fleeting nature of existence.
There is SO MUCH stuff that was of varying degrees of importance in my life that is now gone with no chance of recovery. Things that have slipped from my mind no longer have the back-up of my mom or her friends to fill in the stories. Even things as culturally significant as Le Perroquet restaurant are hard to dig up on-line (as I tried to do in the wake of Jovan Trboyevic's passing earlier this year). Certainly the Internet provides a new "group memory", but that only kicks in mid-90's, and it's a crap shoot if anything survives there prior to 2000. I recently saw a few photos from my neighborhood in the 70's on ebay from the Sun-Times archives, and was wondering it there was any way of efficiently having these sorts of resources digitized (when discussing another blog gig with the Tribune folks, I'd asked about getting images from the archives for "now & then" features and they pretty much told me that wouldn't be possible).
(sigh) Well, the curtain closed a bit for me today. Feeling very odd about this.