Sometimes, the world is a smaller place than we ever imagine it could be.

A few years ago, used to work at a bank as an information technology person. (Hence the nickname, ‘BitHead’. I’m a tech, by trade, usually working in some type of computer/technology position.)

 Unfortunately the department that I was attached to, closed, and my job was eliminated and I ended up moving on to other things. To this day however, I consider it the best job I ever had. At least, outside of my first love, which was always radio. Still, that’s been 20 years, now since I did that, so…(sigh)

Anyway,  in working at that job I discovered how small the world really is.  On a particular Saturday afternoon we had a situation in we were working out where all of the computers in the place needed to be touched for the purpose of installing a new piece of software that could not be installed remotely. Keep in mind; this was the early days of Windows NT with the new user interface. The usual operation on those kinds of “all hands” was that we would take one or two technicians and walk around with the install disks taking perhaps five or six hours to install what needed to be installed on every machine in the house. Usually around 450 machines.  Over my tenure at the bank I did this perhaps five times.

This one particular Saturday I happened to come across the desk of someone that I hadn’t met before, and in the process of doing this software installation, I happened to look at some of the pictures on the woman’s desk just to pass the time. One of the pictures stood out rather dramatically in my mind as being awfully familiar.  There was something about it that I knew but that I couldn’t identify. Essentially it was a picture of a dirt road and the fields and trees across the dirt road or it there were no buildings in the picture no permanent structures of any kind for that matter.

Let me back up a moment. In fact, let me back up somewhere on the order of 45 years.

When I was growing up my grandmother on my mother side bought a weekend place …what had been a farmhouse outside the little town of Dalton, New York. The house was on the order of 5 miles away from the nearest paved road. It was the most god-awful place to get to in the wintertime, and for that matter following spring time when the rains came. On several occasions snow prevented us from getting those last 5 miles to the house, and disappointed we ended up having to drive the 60 some odd miles back home without having made our visit.

Personally, I couldn’t understand for the life of me my grandmother’s attraction to the place, until later in life.. It was hot in the summer time with not a breeze to save yourself, it was unbearably cold in the winter time, and snow up to your armpits tended to be the rule of the day. TV reception was terrible at best. It was a long-distance phone call to the fire department. No, I’m not kidding. And yet despite all of this my grandmother who had a job in the city was making the 60 mile trek to the farm every weekend, and just about every weekend we make the same trip.

After having spent so much of my young life in this place, you can imagine that the features of the place had imprinted themselves on my brain, and some will tell you they’ve also implanted themselves on my personality. Be that as it may, there wasn’t much about this place I didn’t know.

My grandmother passed on some years before I took the job at the bank, and the place has been maintained until just recently by my uncle who also has a house on the property. After one final and sad foray into the house a couple of evenings after she died, I haven’t been in the place since. This despite the fact that I can run to the place in my mind to the square inch without any difficulty whatever. I knew that my Uncle had started renting a farmhouse out to help cover the expenses of running a fairly large piece of real estate, it was on, but I never met the people involved.  Somehow, I guess part of my reluctance to meet the people there involved my reluctance to think about that place being occupied by somebody other than my grandmother. Childish perhaps, but there is.

So, back to the bank. A few days later I had a trouble ticket that I responded to for the woman whose picture I had noticed. As we started talking and getting to know each other as I fixed the computer problem, I pointed out the picture to her. Without any other explanation are rattled off the address of my grandmother’s house.

She went a few shades whiter, almost at once. After she picked her job up off the floor, she immediately wanted to know how it was that I had so readily identified where the picture had been taken from, given there was no identifying marks in it that anyone else on earth would recognize.  And I, explaining, to her what I have just explained to you, began to get a little wistful.

It turns out that she and her husband were the ones who were renting my grandmother’s old house from my uncle. I haven’t seen her since I left the job a couple years ago. To be honest, I can’t even remember her name now though I have it written down. She proved, however, to be the nicest person that you would ever want to meet. She was somebody I enjoyed working with. I get the feeling that I would’ve enjoyed the company of her and her husband if I had managed to knock on their door and say hello.

It’s nice though, that the second chance came along, by what you might call a chance meeting.  Otherwise I would never have learned first-hand how small the world really can be.