BY NORBERT RUG
There have been a series of coincidences in my life. My buddy grew up in a house full of girls in Amherst. One of them dated a Harley driving, leather vested, Vietnam-veteran biker from Barker. They went out for quite some time until we figured out he was my daughter in laws father. Small world.
I recently needed some service on my recliner that I bought over 10 years ago. I used to do this type of work myself but cannot do it anymore so I called the furniture store where I bought it from and asked if they had a repairman. They replied they didn’t but that they sent all their repair work to a third party, Fred.
When Fred answered the phone he said “before I set up an appointment, my caller ID said that you are Norbert Rug. Is this the same Norbert Rug that used to go to a square dance club for teens that was held in a volunteer fire hall in Amherst?” I thought it to be a rather odd request but I replied it was. I hadn’t thought about that club for decades. He said he used to belong to the same club and he remembers me. What a coincidence, 55 years later to meet up with a fellow square dancer.
I am frequently recognized due to my picture regularly being in the paper but it is unusual when my wife is spotted. This week we were at my oncologist in Williamsville when a woman was leaving the office. She stopped, turned and approached us and asked us if we were from Lockport. I assumed this was another one of my fans but when we said we were, she said she recognized my wife from the grocery store where she was a cashier. Who knew we would meet someone from a store that my wife patronized in a doctor’s office that far away?
I recently went for new hearing aids. I have been using the ones I presently have for several years and I was told they were nearing the end of their lifespan. I wasn’t really ready to spend another $6000 so I shopped around. I found some that seemed very similar to the ones I had for much less, made by the same manufacturer, so I thought I would try them out.
The person I met with was very friendly and professional. After she was done examining me, giving me the hearing test, explaining my results and I had bought my new hearing aids, we started chatting. It turned out she grew up in Getzville like I did. Getzville isn’t that large. To give you an idea just how small Getzville was when I first moved there the post office was just around the corner, on Hausseur Road, in the postmaster’s garage. I used to go there to watch him sort the mail into pigeon holes before he delivered it so it seemed a coincidence that to me I would meet, in Lockport, someone from my home town of Getzville.
The house next door to us recently sold. When we first moved into our house, over 40 years ago, there were two women living there. Several owners/tenants later the new owners are a pair of women. We have met them and I think they will be good neighbors just like the first ones we had. Coincidence or not? I’ll let you make the decision.
One day Donna and I were eating at Reid’s, a local hot dog stand. We seldom eat at Reid’s preferring to bring it home but this time we decided to eat there. We eat there probably less than once a year. We were sitting at a picnic table having our hotdogs and onion rings when a man walked past us and sat down at another table with his son. It was my oncologist from Amherst. He and his son were coming back from spending the day at Olcott and thought they would stop in for a meal. Who would have thought we would both be in the same place at the same time, especially since he lived so far from here?
We were sitting on our front porch one afternoon when I remarked to my wife that we hadn’t had any visitors for quite a while. Later that day, people started showing up. It was like I had sent out a psychic beacon to the people we knew that we wanted some company. This coincidence sure felt freaky.
Donna and I had gone to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner. When I called for reservations, I gave my last name. When we sat down our server came over and asked if I was related to Richard. When I said yes she introduced herself as my nephew’s fiancée. What are the odds on that?
Even within the comparatively small example of my life, there are many opportunities for coincidences to happen. When I think about all the people I know, every one of the places that I go and all the places that they go, the chances are really good that I will bump into someone that I know, somewhere, sometime.
Things like this just happen because we live in a random universe. We think coincidences may have something to do with us, some inner meaning, but they don’t.
Norb is an independent journalist from Lockport. You may meet him by chance almost anywhere. Catch his writing on his blog WhyWNY.home.blog