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Author Topic: Fun Encounters.  (Read 6299 times)

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Fun Encounters.
« on: July 07, 2012, 09:23:30 AM »
Sometimes, things that make you feel good happen in the oddest places.

Yesterday, we were shopping for a major appliance.  The rep who served us was very helpful.  While registering the sale on the computer,  I noticed that he had an unusual last name.  It was the same last name as an author I somewhat admired and I asked our sales rep if he was a relative.

As it happened, the author had been his Grandfather and he was surprised that I knew the man's work.  We had a short but pleasant chat and both of us went away a bit happier than we were before. 

I'm sure many people here have had interesting and pleasant encounters like this.  Why not share?


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 10:59:05 AM »
I was in the parking lot of a local store and spotted a notebook on the ground.  I looked at it and realized it was a log someone was keeping of their travels.  I looked for a name but found none.  However there was a name "mom' and a phone number in the back. 
It was mother's day and I figured the owner of the book might call their mother that day, so I called the number and told the woman answering that if she had a child traveling I had found their travel log book.  She said she did have.  I believe they were on their honeymoon.  I told her I thought they might call her since it was mothers day and if they did, to tell them to continue to keep the log because I would send them the one that I found.  I did send it, and later got a letter from them and a vial of Mount Saint Helen's ashes from when she'd erupted that year.  I was so glad to be able to do something so unusual for someone.
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

White Dragon

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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 11:20:19 AM »
Bijou, that was very cool of you!

Mine was much less dramatic but still fun.

My mom was helping my drive cross-country with my kids as we were making a major move. (Mr. Dragon had gone on ahead.)
We took 'the road less travelled' because it was shorter and had far less traffic.

Being less travelled, it was also less populated.
We quickly discovered a rule of road travel.
1) Any town of more than 1500 people will have a hotel.
2) A town must have at least 3500 or more people before the hotel is anything you'd dare actually stay in.

This meant that our overnighting options were thin. When we got to a suitable town anytime near the end of the day, we stopped.
Could be another two hours before something else turned up.

So random chance of the road had us in a little town in northern Ontario.
The first hotel we tried had no room (and was kind of rude anyway), so we went to the more-expensive-looking one across the street.

The price difference was minor, and the service was wonderful!
They had a lending library of books in the lobby for guest use and as I was browsing it, the owner pointed out a book - a biography of a notable local.
The local was a writer named Lesley McFarlane. Who wrote under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon.
Turns out that the "Hardy Boys" books, beloved from my youth, were written in that town!

Not all of them of course, because there was a stable of writers producing the books, but Lesley McFarlane wrote something like 23 of the first 26 or so, in addition to other works (including one Nancy Drew book!)

I bought a copy of the autobiography and I still remember that random stop fondly!
"I think her scattergun was only loaded with commas and full-stops, although some of them cuddled together for warmth and produced little baby colons and semi-colons." ~ Margo


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 05:54:49 PM »
Posting only so I can check on posts to this thread. I have no cool stories like this but these are awesome!


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 10:17:04 AM »
Here's another from some years ago. 

Friends brought a visiting colleague to a restaurant we frequented.  We were all quite friendly with the bartender. 

The guest was introduced.  His last name was the same as that of a famous alcoholic beverage (think Bacardi or Dewars).  The guest ordered the drink of that name and the bartender, making polite conversation, asked if the guest was related to that family. 

He was. In fact, he was one of the brothers who inherited the family business. 

'Wow!', said the bartender.  'I'venever served a brand to a brand before!'


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 03:36:48 PM »
When I worked at Big Box Store as a cashier I was having a bad day. I was tired and everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. Then a guy came through my till wearing a shirt that said "You never forget your first Doctor." We had a really awesome conversation about Doctor Who. I think we're the only two fans in Saskatchewan. :)


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 11:18:07 AM »
I was shopping at a clothing store where they ask you of the name of the salesperson who had helped you.  I had totally missed her name tag, and ended up pointing her out.  Then her assoicate said her "oh Reader helped you out" and it took me a minute to realize she wasn't talking to me but about her co-worker.  Given that my first name is so unusual, and I've only run in to about 5 other people with my first name in my life.  So the assoicate called her over and we had a nice conversation about our shared name.  Of course hers was spelled different, and to my knowledge no one I have met, or told my name to has seen my spelling of it. 


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 11:46:36 AM »
One of our freelancers is the son of the authors of some of my absolute favorite children's books (think of a cute little badger girl).

I have long wanted to pick his brain about them, but apparently (per other co-workers and the Internet) his relationship with them might be a sore subject.

And another of my co-workers is a children's book illustrator and author of considerable talent.

I never would have thought to run into two great connections to the children's literature world here.


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2012, 12:10:30 PM »
Not one I've had, but one I could potentially, and would love to have.  My dad's side of the family came from England, after landing in Canada, and then scattering throughout the US. One "branch" of his family is up in PEI, and a few years before my dad passed away, he and my mom were able to go up and meet some of them, etc, which was something he had always wanted to do.

I want to go to PEI as its gorgeous, and there is a woman who own's a B&B, who has both my first and last name.  So I think it would be fun to go up, and stay there.  I can just see the confusion as I try and make my reservation!


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2012, 01:08:00 PM »
In a former job I called another military base for some reason, and found myself talking to a Sergeant Messier.  Charles Messier (1730-1817) was a French astronomer who was a comet hunter, and he made up a catalog of 110 objects that were not comets.  Those objects are still known by their M numbers, e.g. M31 is the Great Nebula in Andromeda, etc.  I asked this sergeant if he'd ever heard of Charles Messier, and it turned out that he was a descendant.  He was amazed that I'd actually heard of Charles Messier, and we had a nice chat about astronomy.
for anyone who's interested


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2012, 02:20:17 PM »
When I was in high school I was interviewing for a job at a local shop.  I was in the back office with the manager and the bookkeeper.  The manager interviewed me, then also introduced me to the bookkeeper.  Upon hearing her last name I asked her if she had a son named Rob.  She did and asked if knew him.  I said no, but I had one of his old textbooks, and proceeded to open up the schoolbook and on the inside cover her son was listed as the 'owner' several years prior to me.  He had already graduated a few years earlier. 

Later on I learned that I got the job because I had such great attention to detail, for remembering that name in the text book.


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 08:23:59 PM »
Several years ago, as I was walking out of the store, a young man of some type of Asian (important) descent say "Jackie."

I don't recognize him at all, and look to see if I was wearing my name tag.  I'm kinda freaked out, and say, "how do you know me?"

He says, "I don't know if you remember me, my name is Phan (shortened a lot)"

I said, "Are you kidding me? I always wondered what happened to you guys."

He and his family immigrated from Laos, early 80's, to my hometown. They only stayed there for a short time, before moving to a city 30 miles away, or so. He then moves to the town I live in now, and we run into each other some 30 years later, and he remembered me. There are people out there I went to school with from the time I was 5 all the way through high school, who couldn't pick me out of a line up if I had a name tag on, and here's the young man, who knew me for all of a couple months and he remembered me.

One more...

I LOVE whole bean coffee. Quite by accident, I discovered Berres Brothers bulk bean coffee. The company is also just up the road a way, relatively speaking. Our favorite here being their Hilander Grogg. One day a couple came through my line, and they had bought a bag of the coffee. I was asking them their favorite, and told them the story of how I came across the coffee, and our favorite. I finish ringing them up, and give them their total. The wife of the couple, hands me their check, as form of payment, and the last name on the check, Berres. I was a little floored, but I can imagine, they enjoyed the critique I gave of their coffee.


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Re: Fun Encounters.
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2012, 09:56:23 AM »
Last summer I was loading groceries into my car.  I was approached by a man saying he was really embarrassed but was trying to raise $20 to fill his car with gas to complete his trip home to a town about 2 hours from my city.  He didn't look like the typical pan handler and this isn't a parking lot where this is common.  It seems he was traveling back home cross country, ran into car trouble and maxed out his credit card getting it repaired and he had no access to cash either.  He offered to show me his driver license, provide an IOU and a promise to send me the money when he got home.  It so happened the town he mentioned was where I was born but only lived till I was 2. But when he pulled out his drivers license I saw his last name was the same as a couple that had been long standing friends of my parents though I hadn't seen any one in family in almost 20 years.  I asked if he knew the couple.  "Yes, they are my parents. I'm moving back home to take care of them."  Standing in front of me was their youngest son who I had learned to walk with, talk with and drive our mom's crazy as the youngest children of both families.  Our families had stayed close until he and I were around 8 but our mom's would get together for lunch every few years for a another decade.  And when she attended my mom's funeral she was one of the most comforting people to have there.  In a city of 4 million people, he found me to ask. 

My other one was when DD and I were dating.  We'd been invited to his mom's house for dinner as his mom's sister was visiting. I knew this aunt had lived in a small town near where I grew up, but didn't recognize her last name.  However, when I walked in the door she immediately shouts "Oh, my your "my mom's first names" daughter!"  It seems she had worked in an office close to my mom's store and her and mom would visit during the day and she remembered me coming and going from the store all the time.

And lastly, I was moving to California from Texas for a job right after college graduation.  A friend who graduated with me decided to come with me for my move and for us to have a vacation before our jobs started.  We had gone to the same small town highschool together but hadn't become close friends till we ended up at the same college in the same major. She had never been to a Disney park so we went to Disneyland for the day.   We took a break at lunch and were sitting in a cafe when she starts really laughing.  Sitting in the same cafe were two guys who had been in our graduating class of 100 who neither of us had seen since graduation.  It seems they had attended the same college and decided to take a trip out to LA before starting their jobs too.