Small world stories
“It’s a small world,” we frequently hear, even when we are not at Disneyland.
Many of our small world stories revolve around the military. When my husband, Russ, spent some of his Army duty teaching Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, I 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 in Rapid City during the same 4-H years. He was known as Harold then and goes by Hal these days.
Another ROTC-related instance was when Russ had orders to attend an Army course at another post, 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 when he was at Fort Carson. 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.
When my sister, Audrey, attended a meeting in Colorado Springs with a large group and she struck up a conversation with the woman in the adjacent chair. The gal asked Audrey where she was from and she said, a little town in South Dakota that no one’s heard of called Oral. The gal said she has some friends from Oral, from the days when they were all stationed in Germany in the Army. Yes, you guessed it. She was C.J. Moore.
During Desert Storm Russ was stationed for six months at Fort Riley, Kan. While there he got acquainted with many other Army officers, one of whom was Brian from North Carolina. Some months later Brian was on a layover at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. 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 and she had the extraordinary name of Margus. Brian asked if she knew Russ. She said we attend the same church. Brian just knew that each person in the state knows everyone else, which is not far from the truth.
My favorite, a non-military tale, happened to me when I was a college student in Paris. I knew a girl from Hot Springs who was going to be singing at the Church of the Madelaine with her college choral group. 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’ve been there.”
The funny thing is she doubted. I was able to convince her when I told her I am from South Dakota and Chugwater is just over 200 miles from home. In our part of the country that makes us practically neighbors. ❖