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This page last updated: 19 March 2006

When I first erected this page way back in 1996, I thought it an ingenious idea that would in the end help me to find some long lost friends and fellow travelers. All I had to do was rotate the names of people I was looking for through the "Keywords" portion of this page's code, and wallah! Someone who (like me) did a search for themselves on the World Wide Web stood a pretty good chance of finding this page, if they were someone I was looking for.

Through 2002, this page helped to locate three people (one British chap who I chatted with extensively after re-connecting, and a mysterious Australian couple who sent me a single sentence via email— only to never to be heard from again). I guess in hindsight I'm surprised that I haven't turned up more people, but I guess not everyone has access to the World Wide Web, or more likely, they're not so vain as to do searches for themselves like I do...constantly (no joke: I am not the store manager of the Red Wing Shoe Store in Bismarck, North Dakota).

My Hong Kong Buddies...UPDATE February 2006: Amazingly, I received more good news early last month. Callum Campbell, then of the New Territories in Hong Kong, recently got word from his former travel companion Robin Cassidy that he'd found his way to my web page. I've not yet heard from Robin, but Callum, who apparently travels to New York on occasion, dropped me a line with the promise of getting together again sometime in the future. That should be great.

Scott Longley and family, and the Andersons in Tianjin...UPDATE OCTOBER 2005: With that in mind and much to my surprise, about a month ago I magically heard from David and Libby Anderson, another Australian couple who lived in the same Foreign Guest House (with their toddler Olivia) at Tianjin Institute of Technology as my then roommate Scott Longley and myself back in 1993 / 1994. They are apparently back in China teaching yet again, and I am tickled that they dropped me a note. The picture above also includes Scott Longley and his family, though Scott hasn't contacted me directly, yet. I get the impression he's back in the States, but I can't figure out how to locate him myself and I'll just have to wait for him to shoot me a note. It's great to see that they're all doing well, and I'm hoping I'll get to meet up with Scott again, and at some point in the future be able to bring the whole family over to see the Anderson's down under. Scott, please drop me a note, my brother!

We rocked. We really did.The picture to the left is of the basketball team I played for in the early Eighties in Aberdeen, Ohio. In the back row (from left to right) my teammates' names were: Greg Phillips, Tim (I don't remember his last name, honestly), David Shelton, Jeremy Campbell, Scott Blanton, and Mike Lightner. The kids in the front row (from left to right) were: Eric Slagel, me, Lynn Sales, and Jamie Barbee. There were others in the two years and two teams before this picture was taken, but I can't for the life of me remember much more than this. So if any of you guys are out there, look me up!

UPDATE: DECEMBER, 2002: I received this email from "David and Natalie Freedman" with subject line "China...", which read:

We honestly can't believe it! Guess who? ................

So I guess that means they're alive and well, but I've not heard anything more from them (you can read a little bit about them below). You can also read about Ian Attewell, the first former travel companion to be found using this page.

About My Travels

During the academic year 1993-1994, I spent time in the People's Republic of China, Eastern Turkestan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and a variety of points in between. The majority of my year abroad was spent in Tianjin, a small city of about 11 million people southeast of Beijing. After completion of my second semester of Mandarin Chinese Studies at the Tianjin Institute of Technology, I elected to head west, my journey paralleling the Yellow River as it snaked towards the vast desert and mountain scapes of Central Asia. Along the way, and continuing on into Eastern Turkestan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, I met an extraordinary collection of people; unfortunately, I lost track of most of them. This page is devoted to finding friends and travellers from both home and abroad who I would love to hear from again. So far it's paid off three times over. Here's to hoping that it may pay off again!

Missing Overseas Travelers

Damian Ryan plays some pool in TurpanThe images to the left are the only ones I have of an unforgettable gentleman I met while traveling in Western China in May and June of 1994. Damian Ryan was from Brisbane, Australia (and apparently Alice Springs before that). The travel stories he and his travel mate Ian Attewell shared with everyone who met them had us all in stitches. After meeting Ian and Damian in Turpan, I spent several days with them renting bikes, seeing the sights, and playing pool on any neighborhood pool tables we could find. We then traveled on to Urumqi—the Chinese provincial capital—where both Ian and Damian purchased "Flying Pigeon" street cruising bicycles, had some saddle bags made for each, and rode off into the desert for Alma Alta in Kazakhstan. For years I had no idea whether they made it or not [Editor's Note: they did, almost...here's a snippet of Ian's recollection of those days]. The image of two mates riding vintage 1920's style street cruisers through some of the most rugged desert and mountain terrain remains priceless.

UPDATE: DECEMBER, 2000: Ian Attewell found me in December of 2000, and he sent me the following email:

I can hardly believe it. I was looking for a friend's address and just for the hell of it decided to do a search on my own name. To my surprise, there I am on your web page with a picture of Damian no less.

So, I'm making contact!


It was a joyous day for me, personally, and it was great to hear from Ian again. I'm still hoping we can get together sometime soon, as Ian is now living in Vancouver, if memory serves.

I also met an Australian couple in Turpan who later moved to the northeastern United States (most likely Connecticut): their names were David Freedman and Natalie Kolt, though the latter may have taken David's name as they were married in 1995, I believe. Natalie was studying to be a physical therapist, and David may have been in accounting. They were originally from Victoria. I got a phone call from David once after they'd arrived in Connecticut, but heard nothing from them afterward (which I found a little disturbing, honestly). UPDATE: ALMOST FOUND! SEE NOTE ABOVE

Robin Cassidy and Collin Campbell relax in 1994This is another fantastic duo I met while in China in 1994. I ran into them in Guangzhou and later spent a few nights with them in their New Territories apartment in Hong Kong before I returned to the States. The gentleman on the left is Robin Cassidy from Kilwinning Ayrshire (?), Scotland, and on the right is Callum Campbell. He was quite hung over when he gave me his address (then of Clapham, London) and his first name is not particularly clear. I could swear it was Collin, however. UPDATE: FOUND, AND ALMOST FOUND! SEE NOTE ABOVE

As I made myself west from Kashgar towards Pakistan, I kept running into a trio of Malaysians that were, Karim, Rahim, and Roneycollectively, an absolute hoot. We happened to enter Pakistan together, and I spent about a week with them kicking around Sust, Pasu, Gilgit, and Islamabad (they were studying medicine in Karachi, I believe). All three of them were terrific guys: Kamalul Hafiz Abdul Karim, Abdul Rahim, and Ronieyuzam Abdul Malek. Just trying to remember the great (but short) times we had together is a trip: it has been too long since I heard from these guys. Somehow I came across Karim's brother at the University of Iowa in 1995, if memory serves. He was heading back shortly thereafter, however, so I could never make a connection with him. Karim, Roney, and Rahim were gentle, gentle men. The impressions they left me with paint a wonderful picture of Malaysia, I will say that.

We are the Andersons of Australia ca. 1994The Anderson's (David, Libby, and Olivia) were living in our dormitory at the Tianjin Institute of Technology in 1993-1994, and they were teaching English to the Chinese students while trying to keep up with their daughter. I spoke with them once in 1998, I believe, but I've not heard from them since. I do know that they added a boy, "Zachris,"to the mix, and I think they're still living in the vicinity of Mt. Evelyn, Victoria, in Australia (where I believe they were building a new home when we last spoke). They were really a wonderful family, and inspiration, I'm sure, for our own dreams of exposing Sophie to the world outside of the United States.UPDATE: FOUND! SEE NOTE ABOVE

The photo to the right is of my roommate while I lived in Tianjin, Scott N. Longley. He graduated with me I know he's lost a ton of weight since then.from UCONN at the close of our year abroad, but he stayed on and (I believe) married a Chinese bride. We had a pretty rocky year together (real small room to be cooped up in), but I'd love to find him again. I mean we shared an unforgettable year together, you know.UPDATE: ALMOST FOUND! SEE NOTE ABOVE

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