Small World #2987…

Awright… stop the $%^& world I wanna get off, it’s getting too small…

So I’m sitting in this little bar in Narita City, Japan (little bitty town near Narita Airport), minding my own business, drinking a beer with one of my cohorts before we go grab a bite to eat.

A bunch of pilots from a major airline come in, and set up across the bar along with some of their flight attendants. One older pilot is kinda sitting off by himself, and the rest of the folks are deferring to him. I glance over, he looks kinda familiar. Oh well, probably saw him at the airport, right?

About this time, I see a flare of a lighter, look back over, he’s lighting up a cigar; he looks over at me with a quizzical expression, like he knows me. We nod to each other and go back to what we’re doing.

About five minutes later, I look around again, he’s standing on the other side of the bar, looking at me; I know I know this sumbitch now… About this time, he starts around the bar, I get up, and we meet in the middle- He’s yelling at me, I’m yelling at him, we’re pounding each other on the back, to the amazement of his group and my cohort.

I flew with Pat in 1976-78 in the Navy, doing “fun” things, but haven’t seen him in 20 years!

So we proceed to play catch up for about 20 minutes, and his co-pilot comes over to find out if he’s going to eat. We decide to go along with them, and I gather up my cohort and off we go.

Of course, we are now the center of attention, since Pat is not known as a demonstrative individual; and as I find out, he is also an instructor Captain, and is giving a check ride on the flight out here and back on the 29th.

We start telling stories on each other (trust me, we DO have pictures), much to the amusement of all at the tables, and my cohort is just sitting there shaking his head.

After dinner, we get back to the hotel, my cohort just looks at me and says, “I don’t believe you! We’re in a bar half way round the damn world and YOU run into somebody you know. Is there ANYPLACE we can go that you don’t know somebody?”

Beats the hell outta me 🙂 But tonight made the whole trip worth it! The really funny part is, we pretty much picked up where we were 20 years ago. This time, I will NOT lose touch.


Small World #2987… — 13 Comments

  1. The answer to your cohort’s question- No.

    If you do manage to go somewhere that you don’t personally know someone, you will run across someone who knows someone who knows you.

    Like Murphy said- it’s a small, small world.

  2. It’s really nice to meet old friends. Especially ones who were with you back then.

    I’ve lost track of all my old buddies except for one. We exchange Christmas cards each year. His is accompanied by a personal poem. I last saw him in 1970 when he was passing through on the way to March AFB. I was at Richards-Gebaur at the time, a part of ADC.

    I still think of those folks and keep their memory fresh.

  3. It was just weird- But, when you travel and others do, chance meetings occur.

    Simeron/Crucis- Most of us old farts didn’t have email back in the day, so after a couple of years, you lost the address/people moved (we ALL did that a lot), or you lost your address book. The amazing part is how many memories it brings back- People/places/events…

    ADM- SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS There are a bunch, use as needed 🙂

  4. That’s neat! Your trips to Japan seem patience-testing and full of frustration from what you write. I’m glad something like this happened to make all of that worth it. 🙂

  5. How’s this one. Driving a taxi here on the Island one day in the summer of ’92. Pick up a fare at the airport, a guy and his wife. We keep looking at each other in the mirror. Turns out we were in boot camp in Bainbridge Md together in summer of ’56! Thanks to this medium we still talk a lot!!!

  6. RT- I can either laugh about it, or bang my head against the wall. I choose to laugh 🙂

    cj- I met ANOTHER former crew mate this morning at the hotel. I hadn’t seen Hawk since 1977… 🙂

    Ev- Yep, planning on KEEPING in touch with these folks as we swap business cards and emails. I still keep in touch with 2 guys from boot!