A Tap on the Shoulder from Days Gone By

MemoriesNight before last, as I was walking around the deck inspecting before going below; a couple walked by. We said hello and they asked about the Courtesy Ensign and customs process for boats. They had flown their Mooney over from the US and had a different experience. This led to that.

First, they lived in the DC area very close to our digs for the last decade. Second, He had had an Air Force Career. Third, they were both Aggies. Fourth, they were SCUBA Divers, and fifth they took their certification classes there when I was teaching SCUBA. I started mentioning instructor names and they seized upon one — the guy I most frequently assisted*. I’m glad we treated the students with respect! Oh yeah, and we were both private pilots who had flown from the same field in College Station — probably in the same rental planes.

On the career side, the fellow and I had worked in similar areas through our careers, especially in the Pentagon, and were satisfied we must have been in the same meetings, or if not, we had the same sense of deja vu.

We would have liked to talk more, but they had to fly out in the morning and hadn’t had dinner. After looking on line for more information, I discovered he had worked for another friend of ours.

Interestingly, the woman had started at Baylor and finished at A&M. A visit to A&M by Jacques Cousteau, that I had played a role in setting up, had been one of the things that attracted her to the school. She lived in the same dorm as my brother.

As we go along in life, it’s common to say, “I wonder what happened to old so and so?” With the internet it is easier to find an answer these days. In this case what happened is we crossed paths. Like sailboats tacking upwind, this crossing may be the only one, but it was a singular moment on a warm Bahama evening that made me happy — they had favorable memories even if we did make them swim 1000 yards using a snorkel and carrying a brick before every dive class.

*The same guy who certified Janet after she passed the course with flying colors — under her maiden name.

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