In my youth, I never gave much thought to connections. The way the human fabric is inter-twined. I always thought of other people as just that…….other people, not connected to me in any way. Lately, I am finding that there are hidden connections to people that I didn’t really know existed. That it, until I tried to make those connections.
For example, I met somebody a few months ago, by chance, at my volunteer job. We have common interest in history, and through that discussion, I learned he grew up 40 miles from my home and in the town I worked as a young adult. We have become friends and share more than just history as an interest.
When I began my career here in Atlanta in 1980, I had moved into a town where I knew only one person. He had been my supervisor in a previous job in Illinois. But the connection came from somewhere else. After a week of unpacking the truck, we went out to find some dinner. A band was playing in the bar. After they played a while, they took a break. I approached the fellow that was mixing the band and asked about them. I mentioned that I knew of a band by the same name from Decatur, Illinois. He responded with, ‘Yeah, i know them. I am from Elmwood, Illinois”. Elmwood is about 20 miles from my home town. We became friends as well.
Recently, I was listening to music, as I usually do in the evening. Music comes into my head in a random fashion sometimes. A tune, or a band name will just pop into my head, and at that point, I have to listen to them. When this happens, I tend to share what was in my head on Facebook. It probably annoys some, but that is another topic. So this was the case last night and the band that came into my head was Wilderness Road. These guys, fronted by Warren Leming, were from Chicago. They had a couple of albums but were not a huge commercial success. That didn’t matter to me. I liked them and saw them play once. So on a whim, I searched the web and found a contact email. I sent a note and mentioned how I had enjoyed their music and just wanted to say hello.
Today, I received an email from Warren. He remembered the venue and he was familiar with Marietta, Georgia. I was somewhat surprised. So we exchanged a couple more emails and I learned from him that his great-great grandfather fought with the 83rd Illinois Volunteers at Cheatham Hill…….a mere 1/2 mile from my home. My wife’s great-great uncle fought there with the 86th Illinois Volunteers.
My point is that we are connected in subtle ways we may not be aware of. As I get older, I have come to enjoy and relish these simple connections. I only wish I had made that observation years ago. So go seek these connection. They seem to be one of those human experiences that will remain with you always.