Tuesday, May 25, 2004

How Many Degrees of Separation!

Our family lived in Toronto until I was 12, then we picked up and moved to Vancouver. That was a really long time ago, 40 years ago actually. So it's a bit of surprise to me that I should remember my third grade teacher's name (Mrs. Nolan) or that she was from Newfoundland or that it was a combined grade 3 and 4 class.

One day, after the school year had started, maybe October (?), the classroom door opened and in walked the principal who introduced a new kid to everyone. Well, Peter had just the nicest coloured eyes, and already head over heels in love, I wrote him a little note telling him so. And bless his heart, he got out his little Dutch-English dictionary, studied it, studied the note, studied me, and scribbled back that he liked me too.

Well, that lasted a few months until he found a little blond hussy who lived in the same cul-de-sac as he did. I was devastated of course but got on with life, very occasionally wondering if his life has been as interesting as mine.

Fast forward 45 years. I'm at work last week and a sales rep for a fabric company is hauling boxes of sample books into the office for distribution. On the side of the box is printed the name of a person with the same surname as Peter's. So I asked the rep, "Who's name is that?"

Well that's her name, so, thinking perhaps she's a relative (it was a huge family)I asked if she was from Toronto.
"No, but my husband is."

And what is his name?
You guessed it.
Same brothers' names, same family history, same guy.

So hi there Peter V.

It's good to know you came to your senses and picked a nice girl and probably have had as interesting a life as I have. Or maybe she picked you for those nice eyes.
And thanks, Mrs. Nolan, for seating Peter close enough, one row over and three seats back, so that I could send that little note without getting caught and live to tell the story.

So, how many millions of people in Toronto and Vancouver? And the distance in miles and years?

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