Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Connections and coincidences…all the time

I know all about the connections you make through the net, social media, blogs etc.

Yeah, yeah, I know six degrees removed from everybody, five from Kevin Bacon, for God’s sake.

Combine that with coincidences that happen every day and it is starting to become unbelievable.

I have come to accept the amazing amount of connections due to the Internet.

Friends from 60 years ago Google you and find you, friends that through social media are able to connect with each other.

Many of our friends on facebook are out of our past; most would have been lost without the ease of the net.

We had our high school, fiftieth reunion thanks to the Internet. The ability to find people has been geometrically multiplied due to the net.

I can accept that, even though it is something that previous generations could not even conceive of.

This blog has resulted in finding relatives that I did not know even existed, people that have shared a common past, it still knocks me out.

What I find is the connections made through coincidences, even more amazing. OK, maybe that is what six degrees of separation is all about, but there are coincidences that are nuts.

I was on a beach in Porto Heli, Greece, at a bar naturally, and a guy about my age came for a drink. He was obviously English, socks and dessert boots and shorts; I asked were he was from. After a few moments we established that he was in the film business and his wife, on the beach, had been in advertising in London when we were there.

After about ten minutes she asked me if I knew her ex husband, not only did I know him, we worked together in London in the 60s. She and her ex husband had a daughter and she is married to a Greek and has a summer home ten minutes from us. We have all become great friends…no Internet involved in this one.

We have a guy that works on our pool that is from Edipso, on the island of Evia originally; I have relatives there (my grandfather went there after the catastrophe in 1922.) I had lost my cousin’s phone number and asked George if he knew anybody there that might be able to get her phone number. He called his sister who happened to be married to a guy who is a first cousin to my cousin’s daughter. Sounds complicated but it is simple, we now have the number and are in touch.

I think in some bizarre way I am related to George, but he still takes a week to come to the house to do some work. Since we are related he does not treat me better, actually worse. Pros and cons to this thing.

Our architects wife, who is from Chicago, and we used to shop in her fathers grocery store there 45 years ago.
Figure that one out.

There are tons more, my friend from NY whose daughter is dating a Greek guy, whose parents have a house one kilometer from ours.

It just goes on and on, maybe because we lived in so many different countries, maybe because we have met so many people over the years, maybe because I talk to pretty much to everybody I meet, maybe, maybe, maybe.

The more you think about it the weirder it gets.

Who knows, I only know it is great, and I am looking forward to the next surprising connection or coincidence.

Share some of your own coincidences or connections…the weirder the better.


  1. Great article. I think we all have stories similar but not to the extent you have. You have been to so many places and have befriended so many people you have become a human internet. And it's true, you do bullshit a lot to anyone who will listen to you.

    Really though, a wonderful article. I loved it.

  2. Paul Auster one of my favorite authors speaks of the elements of chance and coincidence in his novels. They also reflect the the odd encounters in his own life. So it has been in our life, Greg's and mine, that what we assume are chance encounters have actually been a sort of subconscious quest perhaps, not necessarily our quest alone but unanswered questions to be fulfilled on behalf of others. These long to be revealed like some forgotten language which when finally understood can either close the door or connect us to some new experience. An invisible thread tugging us towards the unknown which for lack of a better word we call coincidence. We are all subject to outside influences, elements of chance play important roles in our lives and the lives of others.
    A simple incident that perplexed me for many years happened on our honeymoon. one Month before our wedding I left my job as illustrator and assistant art director in a New York pharmaceutical company to join Golden Books Publishing. During this time in the Bahamas enjoying a morning sail along with another couple, a simple question posed to me by an inquisitive woman became a puzzling encounter.
    As we exchanged information about our careers it became immediately apparent that I had replaced her at Golden Books. There we were...a slight bewilderment must have colored my gaze,on her's a fleeting touch of anger. What meaning could this peculiar coincidence possibly have had for me? Nothing! From New York to a boat in the middle of the ocean in the Bahamas. It was only many years later that I realized that this encounter wasn't really about me, nor meant for me but it closed a door for her. She had me face to face, she could actually see me, this person she must have wondered about, her curiosity finally satisfied.
    A year later, Greg and I moved to Chicago where Greg was hired to work as Art Director for Mc Cann Erickson. We moved into a wonderful apartment half a block from the Playboy mansion and set about exploring Old Town a short walk from our new home. One antique shop among many drew our attention and we walked in admiring all the objects when a very pretty blond girl approached us, Greg being his usual inquisitive self began asking questions as we both noticed the playboy centerfold pinned against the wall behind her..She was indeed Miss April,the girl in the picture, eventually she learned that we had not only recently moved to Chicago but that Greg would be working in the Ad agency and in the position that her husband had been fired from...Here we go again! Coincidence?? She of course called her husband, we waited for him to arrive, were graciously invited to their home for coffee and a chat and another enigmatic door closed.
    These links are not so uncommon...

  3. Jeannine, we have to do a combined Blog. How about it...your writing will add some class to my (our) blog. I do remember both times, it was really strange when it happened...but they do happen all the time.