Got a note from an old college friend the other day that Mike Bauer had passed away.
No, he wasn’t a family member of the character Keifer Sutherland played on “24”. Mike Bauer was that cool RA (Resident Assistant) I had met while a “dormie” at Terry Hall, at the University of Washington.
We weren’t great friends, but to a freshman up from California, living away from home for the first time, Mike was cool. He had the long hair, he was mellow, he would say “Just maintain” and ask that we keep a low profile on any shenanigans we did. He’d keep his gig and we could be a bunch of college kids.
Like I said, I didn’t know him more than just as an RA, with the cool room, long hair and just a good guy. Years after college, the friend who let me know of his passing said that she had semi-stayed in touch with him when he showed up working at the Queen Anne Thriftway. Yep, after his education at the UW, he headed off into grocery. After that, everyone lost track.
All I know is that yet another part of my life moved from being a memory to becoming history. That’s how it works. You think of all the things that pass through your life during several decades–the co-workers, the friends, the neighbors, the acquaintances–and little by little, you hear that they’re no longer with us. There’s no sadness that you didn’t stay in touch. We all head off into the world to experience our own lives and it’s only a few that we stay connected with. To be honest, I hadn’t given Mike much thought since those days, as I’m sure I never really came to mind. It was a couple of guys, who passed by each other on the way to life.
Mike, I don’t know if your life turned out the way you had in mind, but it was an honor getting to know you.