Inbox Archaeology

A few years ago I checked my Yahoo!  email Sent Items. I haven’t used this account in forever, and being stuck at home during Covid makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do.

The folder is set to list items by date, so I went all the way back.

What I found was astonishing.

I had not deleted anything in that Sent folder since I opened the account in 2002!  In a world where we exchange information via Snap, TikTok, Messenger, WhatsApp and a ton of other platforms,there are endless ways to connect. I had used the Yahoo! account for what you probably use your old Yahoo or Hotmail for; some personal communication, signing up for various online stuff, and for notes from Mom.

All these years of snapshots of my life, preserved like hieroglyphics on stone tablets, were electronically residing in the Cloud, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be read again.

I saw I had connected with an old friend in 2003, having not talked to her since the 90s.



Much has happened, of course.

I’ve worked at several Bay Area radio stations. it’s going really well these days, at least this month!

Kim is married; she and I broke up about a year after we saw you. She is living in Marin County now.

I live with Ben, he’s the best roommate ever; we have a lot of fun. My best friend lives about 5 blocks down the street in San Bruno..Our house is party central. We cook a lot, drink good wine …

I’m engaged; the wedding is May 7th in XXXX..very small,. reception the following night in XXXXX. First time ever to take the big step.

She (fiancée) lives in XXXX so I see her only about once a week…we’ll have plenty of time together this summer.

I just bought a new Toyota Tacoma yesterday, my dream vehicle. Picking it up this weekend.

Worked at a dot-com for a year, the whole company folded and I got booted.

Travel: all five Hawaiian Islands, Italy, Germany, Canada and Mexico; off to London and Milan in January.

I’ve thought about you a lot over the years, I have fun memories of hanging out with you. Glad you are happy and doing well.



Mon, December 8, 2003 7:44:05 AM

Did you get the Windows 98 Disc Yet?

From: John Scott <>

Hey Dad-


Talked to Mom yesterday, we’re working on a Christmas trip plan….will let you know.

 Did you get that disc? Have you had a chance to try and install it yet?

Let me know…

Love you.



Windows 98? Um. So bad.

I spent two hours wading through reams of epistles, missives, flirtations, sadness, heartbreak, heads ups, large victories and spectacular defeats. It was the emotional equivalent of finding a pile of old photos and getting lost in memories looking through them.  Lots of different words in there; doubts about dreams ultimately realized, words I wish I could take back, promises kept. I found some social media elevator pitches that I had sent to a few influencers. I’m not positive, but I think might have invented Facebook! Sorry, Mark.

I laughed out loud a few times. Some of the emails were deleted, representing painful memories I wish to never again be reminded of.

I forwarded a few to the original recipients, with a “look what I found!” note attached.

My email archaeological site now being fully excavated with a flood of memories recovered, it was instructive to be reminded that our stories are still being composed. The chapters are still being written.

There are unlimited stories to create. What will we do with the time we have left?

What’s your strategy for reinvention? Let John know about it here.

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