It’s a small world
“It’s a small world,” we so frequently hear, even when we are not at Disneyland. For sometime now, I’ve thought it would be fun to collect small world stories, in case anyone has one or more to send me.
Many of ours revolve around the military. When my husband, Russ, spent some of his Army duty teaching Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, we realized how very small the Army world is. When one officer and his wife came to our ranch, and I got a good look at him, it dawned on me that we had showed 4-H calves at the Western Junior Livestock Show during the same years.
Another ROTC-related instance was when Russ had orders to attend an Army course at Fort Carson, Colo. A fellow officer, who had just moved from Fort Carson told Russ to be sure and go look up Major Mike Moore, a really good friend of his when he was at Fort Carson. Russ is not the type to do any such thing, but as we compared notes, we discovered that his wife was named C.J. — and we had known the Moores when we were stationed in Germany. Ultimately Russ did go look him up and they had a good time reminiscing.
During Desert Storm, Russ was stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., for six months. While there he got acquainted with many other Army officers, one of whom was Brian from North Carolina. At the end of the five months, Brian was sure there were only a few people living in South Dakota — Russ, his extended family and a few others. Some months later Brian was on a layover at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. After he got tired of prowling the airport, he took a seat on a bench next to a gracious lady. As often happens in these situations, they struck up a conversation. It was the same drill. The woman was from South Dakota, Hot Springs to be exact. Brian asked, rather gleefully, if she knew Russ. She said something to the effect of oh sure, we attend the same church. Brain just knew then that everyone in the state knows Russ. My favorite, a non-military tale, happened to me when I was a college student in Paris, and it has a different slant. I knew that a girl from Hot Springs was going to be singing at the Church of the Madelaine with her college choral group — so I went to see her. Do not get ahead of me. She knew I was coming so that is not the story. While I was waiting for her to show up, I talked to another choir member and inquired where she was from. She told me Chugwater, Wyo., and fully expected me to laugh or ask where in the world that was; instead I replied, “I have been there.”
She almost did not believe my small world story. ❖
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So two weeks ago the president told us that the greatest threat to the United States is systemic racism. Last week he told the Europeans that the greatest threat to the U.S. is climate change.