Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brian D Barnes establishes contact

Photo: Brian D Barnes performs One Man Theatre

On 2 September 2006 I carried a story about Brian Barnes and the establishment of the New England Theatre Centre, wishing Brian a happy 75th birthday, rather a belated happy birthday as it turns out given that his birthday was on 1 January!

By one of those miracles of the modern internet Brian found the story and re-established contact. Congratulations, Brian, on your MBE. I have posted some corrections to my original story as a consequence of Brian's email.

I say one of those miracles of the modern internet. Forget, for a moment, the broad sweep of the argument about the role of the blog or of other internet devices. Focus, just for a moment, on the small and personal.

On 3 October Stozo emailed me from Chicago seeking information on a friend he had lost contact with, the Australian actress Kristina Nehm. He referred to an article I had written on a blog. The name was familiar but I could not remember.

I did a web search to check on Kristina, realised that I could not have written about her because we had never met and had no links (initially I thought that she might be one of the New England writers I had spoken about in a different context). So I emailed Stozo and asked for the story details. He came back with details.

Looking at the link I realised that this was a comment I had made on Neils' blog on 1 September. The comment was about Aboriginal education in the past. But in Neil's response he had mentioned Kristina. So I emailed Neil. Neil fowarded the email chain to Kristina. All this is on the same day. Three days later Kristina sent a thank you email to Neil to say that she had established contact and that Stozo was just so happy.

I felt chuffed and for exactly the same reason that I am so pleased to have established contact with Brian. These are the personal things that make the experience so worthwhile. In Brian's case there is both the personal pleasure of having established contact again and the knowledge that I can now fill a gap in New England history that has worried me for a number of years.

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