I Ponder



I do a lot of searching, either for family trees, yearbooks, missing people, or just plain curiosity. I’ve found a staggering amount of familiar faces in annuals from all over the United States. Usually, I finish my list of interesting tidbits with more questions than I start with.
This is a picture of Bill Flanagan as he appeared in the 1964 Springdale High School yearbook. I have three points: #1, he looks exceedingly like Anthony Michael Hall from his younger days in “The Breakfast Club.” (Which is why I paired him with his doppelganger in my picture.) ‪#‎B‬, he is wearing sunglasses in his picture. I’ve looked at hundreds of yearbooks from the 60s – seeing a pair sunglasses is rare. #6, it is possible he is blind, in which case I am more intrigued than ever. (He’s not wearing glasses in the 1963 annual.)
The picture is from 51 years ago, so I’m sure someone in my expanded overlapping circles would know someone who knows him. I’ve found a weird assortment of missing people in the last few years. One constant in my efforts is that someone always knows something that leads to the person in question.
But his picture is an example of one of those things I’m not sure I want to investigate. I’ve had his yearbook picture for a couple of years. Each time I encounter it, I tend to ask myself why I have a picture of Anthony Michael Hall and then I remember the unexplained picture from the 1964 yearbook.
All the stories in my head I’ve created to explain Bill Flanagan’s sunglasses probably eclipse the reality he went on to live. I hope not. I hope his life was absolutely fascinating.
His picture from the annual is frozen in time, existing in dusty closets and in the bowels of the internet, maybe forever. I see his picture and wonder about the roads he walked, the people he met, and why he had on sunglasses for this yearbook picture.
I prefer to continue to wonder rather than to know, even as I am tempted to find his life story. In my imagination, Bill Flanagan lived a life too full to capture in a synopsis. I hope we all do and that you too find your pair of sunglasses in each moment.


PS: I used a weird numbering system to confuse some and annoy the perfectionists.

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