ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

COINCIDENCES CAN BE AMAZING

Updated on January 8, 2011

Sometimes real life can be incredible

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, long, long ago and far, far away…well, actually it was 1955 and aboard the USS Iowa at Norfolk, Virginia, and I was a petty officer in the Navy.

At the time, I believe there were about 600,000 men an women in the Navy. There must have been hundreds of Navy ships in the fleet. The Iowa, a battleship, had, as I recall, a complement of over 3,000 men. Each compartment housed 25 - 40 men. So, the odds were you could spend a year on the ship and never even run into someone from your hometown if he had different watch hours and lived at a different end of the ship.

I was in my compartment when a sailor I had been stationed with a couple of years ago came down the ladder into my compartment. What a surprise! What were the odds of him coming not only to my ship, out of all the ships in the Navy, but coming into my particular compartment?

So, while we were exchanging surprised and happy greetings, out of sight of the ladder, I hear a friend from high school, Jack Gibb, call my name. He had not yet seen me but he recognized my voice. And I recognized his. So what were the odds of two guys coming to my ship and my compartment that I had previously known. Talk about coincidences!

That was the biggest coincidence of my life, but not the only one while I was in the Navy. There were a few others.

The first one was while I was still in boot camp in San Diego. Duke Reeves had been my closest friend from first grade through tenth grade, but we had drifted apart in the last couple of years of high school because he stayed at Miami’s Tech High while I transferred to Miami High. So neither of us knew the other had joined the Navy. Then one day, while marching with my company on the “grinder” I saw another company go by, and out front leading them was the “Recruit CPO” , none other than Duke Reeves. I spied the company banner and when I finally got a free moment went and found him. But the story doesn’t end there. We both got stationed in Pensacola after boot camp and, although we were at different airfields, found time to pull liberty together and even to travel to Miami on weekend liberties together a few times.

While I was stationed in Pensacola I made friends with a guy named Donald Barrett who was from Washington, Pennsylvania. Years later, walking down the street in Newport News, Virginia, I saw a sailor about 40 yards ahead. I could not see his face or profile, only his back. But something about him made me think of Barrett. I hurried my walk to catch up, and sure enough, it was him. Again, with 600,000 men in the Navy, what were the odds? But coincidences do happen.

The third time was in Norfolk. I was getting off a plane from - a “hop“ from Miami. As I came down the ramp, I looked over at a nearby plane where they were boarding and spied a guy I knew from Miami High, Alan Hermann, who was going up the ramp. I hollered his name and he waved back - two ships passing in the night.

Another time, while working in Montebello, California, I went to lunch with a colleague, where a lady he had known years ago in Ohio was having lunch.

Someone has come up with the theory that there are only “six degrees of separation“ - that we are all only six steps away from everyone else on earth. I don‘t buy into that, but I do find coincidences fascinating.

So, here‘s what you can do: The next time you are playing a parlor game - wait a minute, what‘s a “parlor“? Talk about an anachronism. But that‘s a subject for another hub. Okay, the next time you have a party, get everyone to sit quietly and go around the room asking each person to tell about the most unforgettable character they ever knew, or about their most remarkable coincidences. I’ll wager you will hear some incredible stories.

 

If you enjoy nostagia, and if you like motorcycles, you would probaby enjoy my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS, First published in 1975, then updated and enlarged in 2006, it is a collection of short stories and articles about all aspects of motorcycling. It is available from Amazon.com. I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from Amazon.com.  You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to motorcyclenostalgia.com.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dongately profile imageAUTHOR

      dongately 

      8 years ago from Sana Clarita, California

      Thanks for checking it out.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      I agree! Great job!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)