I spent a few days on holiday at my wife’s friend’s cottage in Montauk, New York this past week. This was our second time here - the last was in 2010 - and we spent time on the beaches, where Jude played with the sand and outran the waves, visited the lighthouse and revisited some of the places we had some of our meals. Duryea’s, with its famous and delicious Lobster Roll, was once again on our list to stops.
When we came back to the cottage, after a quick hour at South Lake Beach on our first day, we met our neighbours in the cottage next to ours. Here’s where the world starts to shrink. There were two women and a man staying there. One of the women is the man’s mother. The other woman, I assume is his wife, although she wasn’t introduced to us as such. It turns out that the man is originally from South Orange and he went to Columbia High School, where I coach volleyball. He graduated from there in 1989, the same year as a couple of my friends and colleagues. Not only did he graduate with them, he’s very good friends with one of them. As my friend put it, after texting him about my running into his old friend, “I’ve partied with him many times.”
The world continued to get a little bit smaller on our penultimate day and may even result in new friendships. While on the beach - I think it was Kirk Beach, which Jude calls “the huge beach” - we set up camp next to two women who had another young boy with them. The boy was playing with his own bucket, shovel and molds. Jude had his and before long they were playing together. It also turns out that they’re both Power Rangers fans. At one point, Guada, Jude, the boy and his mother were standing side-by-side, holding hands and jumping over the waves. Before they left, I got the mom’s email address to send her copies of the pictures we’d taken and to arrange a time when Jude and the boy can get together and play. It turns out, according to the boy’s mother, that in their neighbourhood there aren’t many boys for her son to play with. The mom grew up on Long Island but now lives in Convent Station, New Jersey. That’s not too far from where we live and it’s also where my mother, when she lived in New Jersey, spent time at Saint Thomas More Church for various Opus Dei activities. Sometimes I’d drive her there, make a visit the The Blessed Sacrament then wait in the car until she was done.
It’s funny how things happen. Last winter, I posted how I’d reconnected with a former student, who has become a big help in marketing my book. His girlfriend is another author who I’d corresponded with a few years ago so my reunion with him became a kind of ‘six degrees of separation’ situation. I didn’t know they were together. I don’t think they were when she and I had exchanged emails. Well, these two episodes on our family vacation have turned into two others more six degrees situations.
What about you? Have any degrees of separations and/or reunions lately? Do share. I’m really starting to believe that coincidences don’t exist. What do you think?