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Buried treasure: Finding long lost friends

August 17, 2008 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
Some tips on finding long lost friends

In the midst of an archaeological dig amongst the piles on my messy desk, I found a not-yet-used 2008 calendar from Papyrus. When I glanced at the celebrations, I discovered that August 17th is Long Lost Friends Day. 

I don’t know who started Long Lost Friends Day—Hallmark or Papyrus, I suspect. But it’s really a nice reminder of the warm fuzzies you feel when you reconnect with someone from your past. In the old days, before the internet, if you lost touch with a person you had to hire a private investigator but now there are so many electronic tools that make it easy to find people from your past. Admittedly, if your female friend has changed her surname, it makes the search a bit more challenging.

Want to find long lost friends? Here are some ways to begin looking:

  • Try finding the person using Google by putting her first name and last name in quotes. See what comes up. If you know the city and/or state where she lives or last lived, you can refine the search by putting that after her name in quotes.
  • Check out groups from your high school or college on social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.
  • Search for former classmates on sites like Reunion.com or Classmates.com—or email or phone the alumni office of your school.
  • Let your fingers do the walking—use the white pages directory on switchboard.com.
  • No luck finding her in a directory? Are her parents or other relatives findable? Chances are they may still live in the same town she did. Try finding their phone numbers or email addresses.
  • If you don’t know any relatives, you could try the friend-of-a-friend route. Do you know someone who knew her that you are still in touch with and
    who may be easier to find?
  • Any clue to the kind of work she is doing? Perhaps, you can find her through LinkedIn, a professional association, or the human resources office of her former place of employment.

Even better than digging: If you develop a blog or personal website, your old friends may come out of the woodwork looking for you. I was so delighted to hear from some of my childhood friends who serendipitously found me.

Have any of you successfully reconnected with retro friends? Please post your stories—and I hope you will reach out and touch somebody whose friendship has been meaningful to you. Oh, Happy Long Lost Friends Day! (Any and all suggestions for de-cluttering my desk are welcome too.)

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Category: Legacy friendships

Comments (4)

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  1. newswire says:

    These are some fine tips. I always try on google first, then facebook and linkedin.

  2. Schoollife says:

    Hi friends
    This is really tough to overcome the departure of a true friend, I still think when I will get a second chance to meet them.
    Thanks Buddy for this nice article.

  3. Irene says:

    Hi Karen:
    You are absolutely right to be cautiously optimistic. One never knows how a childhood friend has changed over the years. Starting with an email or phone call provides a better sense of what to expect.
    When we are able to renew a friendship with someone with whom we have a shared history, it can be a wonderful gift. Old friends help us reconnect—as well as remember and reflect on whom we once were, too!
    Thanks for writing and I hope you’ll let us know what happens.
    My best,
    Irene

  4. Karen Berger says:

    My best friend from childhood contacted me via Linkedin. We haven’t had any contact in more than 20 years, for no good reason that I can think of. We’ve been e-mailing, and I’m looking forward to a phone call. I’d be more nervous about anyone jumps across a chasm that wide, but I recently reconnected with a bunch of college friends, and it seems that time does this melty thing.

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