Friday, July 10, 2015

Small World

NASA Photo in the Public Domain
Earlier in the week I was talking with a co-worker and she mentioned this guy out at our Fort Wayne facility, when she mentioned the name I had to pause.

I knew a guy by that name, back in the day.

It's an Indian name and I wasn't too sure how common that name is amongst the folk from the subcontinent. It's a big country with a lot of people from there all over the world. Hard working folk and good company.

I figured, nah, no way. That would be too much of a coincidence if it was the same guy.

Well, Thursday I get a chat message on the old computational device what sits on my desk from the guy with the same name as the guy I served with out at Offutt AFB. Seems a problem I had written up on the system I'm testing was being worked by him, out yonder in the great state of Indiana.

We chatted about that problem, things like what I did to find the error and what it was supposed to do. Ya know, computer stuff.

At the end of the chat I just sort of threw it out there...

"So, were you ever in the Air Force?" I queried.

"Damn! I was going to ask you the same thing!" was his reply.

It was the same fella I had worked with back at Offutt.

We chatted a bit more. We retired from the Air Force the same year, both as Master Sergeants. Now we both work for the same outfit again, though at different locations.


Small world.

He got back to me later, he fixed the bug. I should have a patch next week. Good man.


  1. Yet another case of SWS (Small World Syndrome)

  2. A few years ago made a cold call on an engine rebuilder in Nebraska. Recognized the owner as someone I served with in Germany. His wife ran the office and soon joined the conversation.

    Wife, "so tell me, what kind of trouble did you two get into in the Army".
    Him. Deer in the headlight look.
    Me, "What happened in Germany stays in Germany".
    Wife, "Yeah, we've been to Vegas".

    Small world sometimes.

  3. Yup . . . this big ol' world can seem very small at times.
    Remember once playing hooky from work. Just wanted to be by myself for the day.
    This was in West Berlin, a city of about 4 million people.
    Took the U-Bahn downtown. Walked to the main drag (Ku'damm). Came upon an outdoor cafe.
    Sat and ordered a beer (Berliner Weisse), people watching. (4 million, remember?)
    Doncha just know . . . along come 8 people that I know who all stop to chat with me.
    (There went my "I was sick." excuse.)
    Anyway . . . here's another example, from my blog:

    1. Reconnecting with the folks you served with and those you wish you had is priceless.

      Ah, Germany...

  4. Haha - know the feeling ;)

    Small world #1
    In 88 I was working at a Car Dealership just outside of Boston Mass prepping cars and selling them on occasion. This guy walks in the door looking for one of the other sales people that stiffed him on some books. I explained that "Steve" was off that day but would be back the next. We looked at each other for about 10 minutes saying "I know you" and trying to figured it out. I go "Paul?" He replies "John?". We used to hang out a few years earlier in Germany. Totally random chance because one guy stiffed him on some childrens books.

    Small world #2
    I am over a friends house in Boston, 1992. He and a few friends were on my Dart Team in Boston and we are practicing and having a few beers. We got in a discussion about German Bier mugs and he was trying to correct me on a few things (he'd never been to Germany). So he says go up stairs and talk to his girlfriend. I walk up stairs and talk to Gwen, I'd known her for about 18 months or so now. I asked:

    Me: Where did you go to High School?
    Gwen: Germany
    Me: Where in Germany?
    Gwen: Stuttgart
    Me (now smirking): There are two American High Schools in Germany, which one did you go to?
    Gwen (now clearly apprehensive): Patch
    Me: Hang on I'll be right back.

    I was moving to a new apartment that weekend and had the last of my personal items in a couple boxes in my car. I came back in with the 1984 PHS yearbook, put it in front of her.
    Gwen: Where did you get THAT?
    As some of you will know the kids overseas can get a HS Yearbook every year with all of the grades as so many people moved with such frequency, typically every three years. This one in particular had students in grades 7-12. I go to the senior section, 1984, and said "That's You". She is stunned. I leaf back a few sections to the sophomore class "That's me"

    Turns out we had at least one class together. Ironically, Spanish, in Germany.

    We have been married 16 years in June.


    1. Great story Surfcaster!

      (I had to go pull your comment out of the Spam filter. Not sure why. I haven't had anything trapped there in a while!)

  5. Funny how often that happens... :-)

  6. One of the great things about life is all the cool stuff that happens. :)

    1. If one is lucky, it totally outweighs the bad!


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