April 23, 2001

a world of laughter, a world of tears...

Since Iím only a mile away from Disneyworld, a chorus of "Itís a Small World After All" seems appropriate. First, Mechaieh and her old euchre buddies all end up in my Favorite Diaries column (disclosure: I did know and respect Mechaieh and her writing from the time I spent as her junior moderator on my main email list, before she retired to spend more time writing and now, bringing up her new puppy. Similar stories with Evilena and Phelps. Everyone else on the favorites list is there because I like their writing and find their lives interesting.)

Now, at my conference, it turns out an old friend of Tís is a presenter -- when I knew him, about 5 years back, neither of us were even in this field. And, just possibly, a high school friend I havenít seen since graduation is another presenter. Iím not getting my hopes up, since the name isnít that uncommon (a little rarer than, say, "Jim Smith"; more like "Scott Campbell") -- but he is listed as being in the state where we attended high school. Then again, Iíve moved across the country since then.

Apparently, I have a memorable face; people recognize me more than I recognize them. (True, I also have a bad memory for faces.) I have run into people I knew in more unlikely circumstances. Once, when hiking about two days out from the base lodge in Big Bend, one of the most inaccessible National Parks in the lower 48, someone going the other way on the path said, "Hello -- arenít you Dichroic?" We had both volunteered at a nature center in Houston. Yes, itís in the same state, but itís about 15 hoursí drive.

The very oddest meeting Iíve had was also in Texas. One Thanksgiving weekend, we had signed up for a two-day rock-climbing class at Enchanted Rock, which is about two hours west of Austin. As the group collected the first morning, I noticed that two people were wearing sweatshirts from my alma mater (Penn, which is NOT THE SAME AS PENN STATE (itís better), and which is in Philadelphia). Curious, I looked at their faces and realized that I had worked with one of them at the college Dining Service, when I was a freshman and he was a senior. (The other was his wife.) Neither of us had been outdoor types in college, either.

Posted by dichroic at April 23, 2001 06:31 PM
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