Tuesday, October 2, 2007

BFFL; coincidence? maybe not...

Michael Smith was my best friend in high school; we ditched school to go surfing together, worked at the same place, dated two girls who were best friends and neighbors for three months before discovering that particular coincidence.

Mike and I entered the service together on the buddy program. And discovered that not only did we share the first name, but both our middle names were Lynn. After boot cap we went our own ways. Mike shipped out to S.E. Asia and I was sent to further training. Mike returned just as I shipped out and we lost touch for about a year when one afternoon, my Filipino date took me to a theatre in Manila and as we sat waiting for the show to start, a young man and his date excused themselves as they made their way to the center of the aisle and who should it be, but my buddy Mike. I had transferred ships, and remained overseas and Mike had shipped out for a second tour and neither of us had heard a word from the other in more than a year.

After the military, Mike’s marriage broke up and he came to stay with me for a while until he met and married his new love and moved to Oregon. We lost touch over the years, and I had relocated to Needles California and opened the Desert Bronze Bakery, Luigi’s and Mike’s Deli and Catering. Needless to say those days were very busy and hectic for me. I had spent a Sunday outing with the Viet Nam Vets reminiscing and swapping war stories and the thought of Mike pressed hard on my memories as I wondered how he was and what he was doing. I felt guilty loosing touch with him, but the road of life has a way of branching and splitting into many paths over the years.

That very next day, I had just opened for business and was going over my bakery deliveries with the driver when a young man came into the store wanting to use the restroom. After a time and he had not come out, and older gentleman came in asking if we had seen his son, who was desperately looking for a restroom. That old man was my high school buddy Mike with his son on their way to Phoenix where Chad was starting college.

Mike is still living in Oregon and we still keep touch and swap war stories online or over the phone. But when I divorced his ex wife and moved to Northern California, I had lost my contact information. But I wasn’t in Norcal a week and I ran across Mike in a Starbucks in Sacramento 200 miles south of where I now live. He stopped for a coffee break coming down for a work related seminar, and I stopped in for coffee and to use my laptop while I was visiting my boat on the near by Sacramento River. Neither of us had ever been in that shop before.

He has never been to my home and I have not been to his since our roommate days, but we have bumped into one another more often than some of my relatives.


Jan said...

Well, I'd say that you two were meant to be in each other's lives, one way or another!

I think that is one of the neatest coincidences that I've heard. :)

em said...

Whoa, that's incredible.

sue said...

Did you really mean to say, "When I divorced his ex-wife..."???

Wow, lots of coincidences for sure. Amazing!

Vin De Vine said...

Um, yah Sue, Mike married Janet while I was overseas.

Incredible is my middle name em.

And Jan, I don't believe in coincidence. All things have a purpose place and time, we just stroll right through the big picture with tunnel vision.

sue said...

Oh my. Here I thought I'd heard it all... ;)