A Small and Smiling World

I called a friend of mine the other day completely out of the blue.  I had to use the white pages on the internet to look up his number, took a leap of faith and made the call.  Unfortunately the call went to voice mail and I ended up leaving the most random recording he’s probably ever received.  What initiated this phone call took place in my office nearly twenty minutes prior when an entire team of people walked in to introduce themselves.  Two of the gentlemen in this group are from the Bay State and I casually responded I was also from Massachusetts; Beverly in particular.  This is when it all started.  Above one of the windows in the office hang several Boston Bruins flags, including a replica Stanley Cup banner from the 2011 season.  One of the gentlemen in the group offered “This is the best office I’ve ever been in!” and starts taking photographs of the banners, the RED SOX/NYY season calendar I’ve created and when I offered up that I was from Beverly he was amazed.  Turns out, he too is from the Garden City and graduated Beverly High School four years before me.  He grew up in a section of Beverly near my Aunt Delores; in fact I’m sure they know each other.  I realized just how fast the “Boston” in me came out … in no time at all we were discussing local haunts, sports teams, our dislike for the city across the river and of course the team from the Bronx.  We could have knocked this around for hours though the rest of the team needed his services and though they were all amazed at how fast the two of us hooked up with each other he realized it was the job he was here for and had to leave.  I was completely wired at that point and because this new found friend who now hails from Ipswich, MA (clam capital of the world) plays in a men’s 50+ hockey group twice a week I thought of my buddy back in Lowell immediately and made that random phone call to try and get this craziness out of my system.

Now it’s five days later and not yet 8:AM and I’m finding a way to express just how small this little globe of ours really is.  A few posts ago I mentioned my times in South America.  I had such a good time in a town in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, a.k.a. VALPO that I forgot the ship I lived aboard was leaving at 9:AM, in fact, I had set a noon wake-up in the hotel I was staying at.  It was not the first time in my life to be brought back to the boat in the back of police car, and while my buddies cheered me on there were a few members that were not at all pleased about leaving later than originally.  I’m really glad they didn’t leave me in Valpo though … my punishment for that little fracas was to remain onboard during our next port call in Punta Arenas.  For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of this continent, suffice it to say that we were now in the bottom of the world – or at least very close to it and I was to remain onboard while my shipmates went out and enjoyed themselves.  This was completely understandable and having been there before I half expected it before our arrival.  Though … as luck would have it, the R/V (Research Vessel) HERO was tied up to our portside and during a conversation with a few of their crewmembers it turned out one of them was from … you guessed it … Beverly, MA! He also graduated many years before I did, and grew up behind the construction company I worked at as a kid. Can you guess how I spent the next three days?  I spent my three days on restriction drinking imported Budweiser’s with a kid from my hometown in the galley of the R/V HERO.  Is there a moral to this story? Probably not … but when you come from a town of 38,000 people you’d never suspect to have so many of these off chance meetings and I’m only too glad to have experienced them, after all it is where I met the girl of my dreams at a high school dance in 1977.

Wonder who I bump into next?




3 thoughts on “A Small and Smiling World

  1. I agree Paul it is a small world. I have met many people in my travels and I love doing so. I too have been in Chile visiting an “adopted” exchange student when I was in high school. I am glad you didn’t get left in valparaiso as it is a bit of a rough town. Punta Arenas though, gateway to Patagonia and to the Antarctica, that would have been interesting to get left at. What adventures you have had. Woo Hoo!

    Sue Bock

  2. Paul, I enjoy every posting you put out. I was honored to receive your voicemail you left for me the other day. It was great to hear your voice and even better to have reconnected again after so many years. God Bless you, Bonnie & kids!

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