Small World

Gordon and I have been seated near the same couple at the LA Phil for about the last ten years–they have the same series that we do–and we’re chatting acquaintances. But I don’t know their names. Well, at the beginning of the season we were telling each other what we’d done on our summer vacations. The woman mentioned that she’d been in South Dakota. They’d been trying to find some record of long-lost relatives in Oldham. I told her we’d just come from SoDak, too, and that we’d been in Oldham visiting the grave of my grandmother. It was old home week! She told me the name of her family, an Estonian name, which I’d never heard of before. She’d never heard of any of my relatives either. She said her family had moved to Wisconsin a few generations back but she was visiting SoDak graveyards trying to trace them. She mentioned visiting the Shrine to Music in Vermillion and was totally knocked dead by it. I told her that I admired the Shrine and that Arne B who founded it was from Brookings and put his collection in Vermillion because he couldn’t get a teaching job at SoDak State U; he finished his music career at Brookings High. Then she told me that her husband taught chemistry at UCLA and that they’d entertained a visiting prof from SDSU for Thanksgiving while she was spending a year at UCLA. I didn’t get the visiting prof’s name but she’s back teaching at SoDak State. I told her that I’d graduated from SoDak State and that Gordon had gotten his MBA from UCLA. We had a good laugh about how small the world is. And I still don’t know her name.


About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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