While growing up in Palo Alto, I met a new classmate in 7th grade at Wilbur (1969?). I admired him from the first time I saw him while we were standing outside in formation during Physical Education class. We were all wearing Wilbur's red and white-striped shorts and a tee shirt, but Kip, a recent transfer, was wearing brown, alligator-type loafers instead of tennis shoes (back in “those days,” PA was not a “rich” community and many families struggled with finances and the fact was, finances kept Kip from having tennis shoes). I think that later that week, another student gave Kip his used, but in good shape, tennis shoes.
But, what happened was, a 9th-grader tried to make fun of him. He called everyone’s attention to Kip and his loafers and laughed at him. But, as opposed to making a big thing about it, Kip just simply said “Hey, F----you.”
As one might imagine, that took a little (wait, a lot of) guts – that is, a 7th-grader saying that to a 9th-grader?! In most cases, it meant that you pretty much quickly built, and nailed shut, your coffin.
Anyway, that’s how I met Kip and we’ve been lifelong friends since.
The other night, we were talking over the phone and he said he’d like to see a blog, or thread, where folks could apologize for some of the things they did as a kid. He told me that there were some things he’d like to apologize for but had no way of finding those individuals.
I can certainly think of some things I’m sorry for. Three incidents come to mind right away, and over the years, I tried to locate those individuals, but was not able to.
I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone so I thought that I’d give just enough identification where hopefully that person(s) would know.
There may be some of you who like me, have tried to find and apologize to someone, but for various reasons have not been able to do so. I guess it doesn’t have to be something you did as a kid. And, ideally, an apology, in person, is the best route, but that is not always possible.
We all change, and hopefully for the better. Physiologically, there is not a single cell in your body that hasn’t been replaced hundreds, maybe thousands of time. We all change and from what I have noticed in my advanced age of 57 or 58, we tend to become nicer.
I don’t know how folks will take to this, but please feel free to use this. And, as mentioned, AN APOLOGY, IN PERSON, FROM THE HEART, is the best way to go, and if that can’t be accomplished, maybe this will help.
Both incidents involved a group of us. Individually, I think all of us were "nice people," respectful to others, but, when we got into a group, we’d act out and at times could be downright mean.
1) Date: 1968 or 1968 (approx) / Location: Hoover Park / Individual (1st 2 letters of first name: AN
It involved a small group of us. While no one was physically hurt, I’m sure that emotionally they were. I am very sorry for my part and want to say that I was wrong and I sincerely hope that if there are any emotional scars left over, that you are now healed. Please write me at email@example.com
2) Date: 1968 or 1968 (approx) / Location: Hoover Park / Individual (1st 2 letters of first name: JO
Again, it involved a small group of us, and in this case, we provoked another to try and fight someone else. Although no one was physically hurt, there was hair-pulling, bullying and besides my role as an instigator, I should have put a quick stop to it. I am very sorry. If you read this and believe it may be you, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)