Archived Story

Write Again … It really is a small world

Published 5:32pm Monday, December 24, 2012

The first part of today’s journalistic endeavor I have written about before, back in the early years of “phase one” of my column writing.
You see, shortly after we moved back home in September of 1991, I happened to be talking with a lady whom I did not know. She told me she grew up in Missouri. I then remarked that a friend I made in the service was from the show-me state. (He and I were in the same unit at Fort Knox, and in Germany. We were in the post chapel choir together in Germany, and also played on the battalion basketball team and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Blackhorse football team.)
“Where in Missouri?” she asked.
I said it was a small town, and perhaps she didn’t even know of it.
“Warrensburg,” I told her.
She just looked at me. As if trying to process this bit of information.
“That’s where I grew up,” she then offered.
“What was your friend’s name?”
“Perry Black,” I told her.
Well. Again, she just looked at me. Then she said that she and Perry were in the same class, and I think I recall her saying they were junior high sweethearts.
Now, that was a real “small world” moment.
Wait. There’s more.
Some twenty or so years later, on a Saturday morning just this past December at the First Presbyterian Church here in town, while talking with a very nice couple just prior to a funeral I inquired as to where they were originally from.
She said Michigan, and he said Missouri. So, I gave them the short version of my Warrensburg story.
Want to guess where he said he went to high school? That’s right. You got it. Warrensburg. A two decades later “small world” moment.
And then — no, I’m not making this up — the very next afternoon while visiting with friends at a health care facility in Greenville, I met their daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, who had just that day flown in from Kansas City.
Upon learning the son-in-law had been a baseball player — a pitcher — I asked if he had played in college.
He had. Where? At Central Missouri State. And where is CMS located? That’s right. You guessed it again.
In Warrensburg.
And the world just got a bit smaller again.
What are the probabilities of such a concatenation of people and a small town in Missouri?
What, indeed.
In the summer of 1964 on a cross-country sojourn with I.B., I had occasion to make a little detour to Warrensburg, and had a very pleasant visit with Perry’s parents. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there. We do communicate with each other once or twice a year. He lives in Estes Park, Colorado. It’s been well over fifty years since we wore the olive drab.

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