Every once in a while someone comes into my life that forces me to consider other forces at play. If I were a religious person I could say something like, "It's God's doing," or something like that. I seriously doubt that something omnipotent would waste its time with my petty curiosity when there are so many serious problems in the world that need immediate attention.
After a hiatus of several years from the music group I play with, Over The Waterfall, I needed to come back and play. I have walked away from music for periods as long as a year without even touching an instrument (although I sing in the car a lot) I always come back. The band has existed for at least 25 years in one form or another. When I started to play with them again there was this "new" guy in the band and a few of the veterans. About a year and a half ago we were practicing in my garage and toward the end of the practice Erik, our Irish flute and penny whistle player notices my father's old license plate from Delaware that I had on the wall (part of my "garage chic" decor) and asks me, "Are you from Delaware?"
"Where did you go to high school?"
I went over to my record shelf (lots of old vinyl LPs) and pulled out my 1969 senior yearbook, the "Azurean," and opened it up. It turns out that we had some of the same teachers, but 18 years apart. Erik was also in the high school jazz band, the Brandywine Blazers, which added to his musical credibility. Many, if not most, of the musicians in that group went on to be at least semi professional musicians. They had some serious talent. Erik also plays saxophone and a few other instruments.
It also turns out that Erik was born the summer I graduated. In fact he lived one block from my girlfriend's house and I probably heard him crying at that distance. His father worked for the same company and at the same location as my father and where I was working that summer. That was 48 years ago so now he is all grown up and has a lovely family of his own and only lives a couple of miles from me. He is a teacher by profession, but plays in several musical groups around the area and is another gem in our community.
In all these years since I left the East Coast I have rarely run into anyone from Delaware let alone someone from the same high school and even then with someone with whom I had so much in common. Coincidence? I guess so.