I’m not sure why, but I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time.
Through my life, I have observed some crazy coincidences that have taken place. Here are a few of them…I might add to this blog post over time as I think of more. If you find these a bit too amazing to believe, I assure you that there is not one iota of embellishment or misrepresentation to them. I’ve even named other people who can verify these events…they are just that surprising to me. I hope to you, too.
When I was much younger (maybe 11 years old), my father took my brother and me to go visit my Aunt Judy at her new apartment. Judy lived in a suburb of Boston in a very poor part of town, tenement buildings in fact, and she also had a parcel of children; eight cousins. In that environment, some of my cousins were a bit rumbly-rumbly, and I sometimes found playing with them to be more akin to getting a bit bullied. So that particular time, I asked my cousin Stephen if there was a park or something nearby to go explore, as the big dirt yard they had beside their house was not that inviting. He said “Yeah, sure! There’s a great park just a few blocks from here!”
He pointed down the road and said “You just go two blocks that way, turn right and go two blocks, turn left, then right again, and you can’t miss it!”
So off I went (and yeah, you all see this coming). I trucked down the road, off on my own little adventure, quite certain that I would see enough evidence of the park along the way (signs and stuff) that I’d find my way there. After about a half hour of rights and lefts, it was pretty obvious that there was no park, that I had been pranked by my loving cousin, and that I was pretty much hopelessly lost. I remember crossing several main roads, passing by several schools, and walking a lot of streets in quiet little neighborhoods with the occasional dog barking at me. But I was lost. I kept looking for some landmark that would show me the way back to Aunt Judy’s house, but I didn’t know the town at all and didn’t even know what way to go. So I just wandered around, getting even more lost.
Eventually, it got to be about 3pm when I remember Dad saying we would have to leave. So I just walked up to a random house….I remember picking it because there was no door on the front gate so it was easy to go through, and I knocked on the front door. A woman answered, and I said “I hate to bother you, but I was visiting my aunt and went for a walk and now I’m lost and don’t know where she lives.”
The woman was nice enough…maybe a bit surprised, and she said “Do you know what part of town she lives in?” And I said “No, I just know its a big building with lots of families there.”
She said “What’s your Aunt’s name? Maybe we can find her in the phone book.”
I said “Well, its a slightly common name, but she’s Judy G****” (name munged because I didn’t ask her permission to post this story LOL).
The woman said “Oh, is that Judy G***** who has the eight children and lives over on Piedmont in the projects? She plays cards with me and my friends every Wednesday. I know her number!”
So she called Aunt Judy, and Dad swung by and picked me up on his way home. The lady lived near a McDonalds, and to his dying day Dad was certain I had walked to her house to beg her to buy me a burger, but he was like that. However, I was not even surprised that she knew Aunt Judy, and I have grown up since then sort of assuming the world works that way.
Part 2 to follow…