Thursday, November 13, 2008


Anyone who has heard the story of Houston Steve and how our paths intersected many years ago - well before we became friends here in Atlanta - knows that I am no stranger to the Bizarre Coincidence.

Big Stupid Tommy’s comment on my last post reminded me of yet another Bizarre Coincidence. And, appropriately enough, it took place in Houston.

It was in early 1991, shortly after we had moved back to Sweat City after a long absence that included living in places as diverse as New Jersey, Atlanta, and Connecticut. One evening, I received an unexpected phone call...from a college classmate I had not seen or heard from in all the years since graduation.

Not just a college classmate: I had hundreds of those. No: This guy was one of the Dirty Dozen - the select group of twelve chemical engineering graduates of the Class of 1974 of which I was privileged to be a member.

Why was he calling me, out of the blue? Was it to solicit funds for the University? No - nothing so prosaic.

He had, it seems, been working his way through his mail. When he opened the envelope containing his bank statement, two statements fell out. One was his; the other, mine. When he saw my name on the statement, he had a genuine Head-Scratching Moment. Say, I went to school with a guy who had that (extremely unusual) name... could it be the same person? Has to be!

Directory assistance did the rest.

And thus it was that we actually got together, we classmates, we fellow members of that Band of Brothers, the Dirty Dozen of the Class of 1974, for a pleasant visit.

As strange as this was, it never could have happened outside of a narrow time window. We had only recently moved to town, and my classmate (along with his business) was within mere days of moving away.

Two people out of twelve in the entire U.S. of A. - and a one-month time window - and somehow, my bank statement gets stuck in the same envelope as his. How crazy is that?

No comments: