the LIST

Do I know you? One man's attempt at a lifelong head count. 

NOTE: If you think I might have a photo of you—most likely at least one great photo of you—don't be afraid to ask me to post it ( along with a brief entry about how I know you. And if I've met or known you but don't have any photo evidence, feel free to send along YOUR favorite photo of you. (I'm fascinated by what that slideshow might look like.)


43. ogela norris

Tyler, TX.   The laughing Buddha of East Texas. 2004

Tyler, TX. The laughing Buddha of East Texas. 2004

Back when we were in high school together our Covina friends called him Victor. At some point—when he moved out to stay with his mom in Texas?—he started going by "Devereaux." Not sure what prompted the post-high school move to his middle name, but I personally had already resigned myself to calling him "Ogela" after a trip to the local bowling alley one afternoon in the late '70s. This was the days when you had to keep your own score with a pencil and a scoresheet. So after writing "Victor," I decided to tinker with the letters, since Victor clearly needed a ridiculous nickname. The "v" became an "o." The "i" became a "g." The "c" became a "g" . . . and so on. You get the picture. Stupid high school hijinks. Victor, er, Ogela laughed it off—he's got a big, happy belly laugh for just about every occasion—and decided I should thereafter be called "Cecil." Thankfully, that one didn't quite stick. (I hope.) When I moved to Austin on St. Patrick's Day in 2010, I figured I'd get to see more of Ogela—and trust me, there's more of Ogela to see than there was in high school. "All muscle, chief," is how Ogela laughed it off a few weeks ago when we saw him in Tyler. It was the first time our paths had crossed paths since I moved to Texas. (Had it really been 10 years since I saw him?) Luckily, we're seeing our old friend again next week during our return visit to Tyler. Tamale has a big curly girl hair show and Ogela gets to be my +1. This little visit is gonna require a follow-up paragraph next week. If you'd like to read more about this happy man, there's a chapter about my '97 Tyler pit stop in my new book, B.O.B. a blog story (vol. 1 — here & there). Check it out.