Digital-age friendship

In these days of digital linkages that span the globe that make it possible to share opinions and actions with thousands of “friends” whom we’ve never met, and won’t, it has been refreshing to follow local engineer Steve Harris’ recent lunchtime tour built on a short email list of recipients. The intent might have been the same, but the scale could not have been more different. For Harris, the meetings were in person and the geography limited.

Harris put together an email list of two dozen friends and acquaintances, a list that could grow and shrink depending on interests, and periodically alerted them to when and where he was planning to have lunch. There was no particular schedule – it was when Harris felt like it – but the locations for the lunches were critical. Harris and the recipients of his email, when it fit their schedule, lunched at 47 different locations between 5th and 12th streets and Second Avenue and the railroad tracks. The sequence was up one side of the street and down the other, in order of address.

The menu was what was next in line, not “I feel like sushi today” or “let’s have a burger next time.”

Harris just completed his lunching odyssey, and wrote about it in a letter that appeared in yesterday’s Durango Herald.

Harris has said he was never certain who would show up, or how large a table would be needed, but he always enjoyed the interaction with those who participated. And he was impressed by the number of places to eat within those several blocks.

Facebook has its place, but we also like this example of a close-in application based on a simpler linkage. Steve Harris is imaginative.

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