Sunday, September 28, 2014


"You used to e-mail me more and send more photos, but now, you're so busy Facebooking!"
-Yvonne Haynes (My mom)

Facebook has its fans and detractors; for me, it's been a great medium to express myself and share photos. But, really, Facebook has been great for connecting and reconnecting with people. Facebook has enabled me to reconnect with childhood friends from Delaware, a girl from my elementary school with whom I co-starred in the Nutcracker in Grade 3 (Was really surprised she remembered me), and a person whom I thought of as an acquaintance in college who was eager to reconnect and as a result, we have become good friends.

Recently, my friend Andre McLemore (One of the fellas pictured below), posted this photo on Facebook from our June 1989 high school graduation.

Photo courtesy of Andre McLemore. Dre is standing next to Del.
In the photo, on the far left (As one faces the photo), is Del Willis, a friend of mine from high school whom I had often wondered over years, where is he? What is he up to? Even my Pops would ask, "What happened to Del?"

I e-mailed and thanked Dre for posting the photo and the memories that it evoked. I then asked Dre, "What happened to Del Willis?" In less than a few hours, I had my answer, "I've been in Detroit since 98, Ryan. Glad that you're well. The name change is why you haven't seen me on FB." Upon graduating from high school, Del Willis became Dawud Walid, a prominent Muslim Imam and social commentator. My reaction to this immediate answer to my 20 plus year question was, "Wow!" As was the response from some other people on that particular Facebook thread. I sincerely appreciated Dawud reaching out to me and I of course reciprocated. We have since been reconnecting and he has been catching me up on guys with whom we attended high school. It really surprised me that something that I had been wondering for so long was answered so quickly just by me "putting it out there" via social media.

Dawud, thanks for reconnecting! Dre, thanks for posting the photo! Thanks, Facebook!

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