Saturday, June 02, 2007

It's A Small World #2

I graduated from high school in May of 1980, just over a whopping 27 years ago.

I worked at a couple of jobs, and to make things shorter, by 1986 Lovely Wife and I and Number One Daughter moved to the Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas area.

We lived there from 1986-1989 and I was working for Delta Air Lines.

I can't tell you how much I loved that job and that company, but in the beginning it was pretty hard. The work was very physically demanding and the heat in Texas in the summer can be quite incredible. Add to the heat having to work outside on concrete and it was a wonder that we didn't all end up with heat exhaustion.

At the time, Delta hired all employees as temporary part-time employees. After a couple of years, they would generally offer you a position that was "permanent full-time" with all benefits and a small raise, etc. Becoming "permanent" was the holy grail of all temporary part-time employees.

In February of 1988, several of us tpt's with the most seniority were told that we would be moved into Cabin Service in March of 1988 and made permanent employees.

On one of my last days as a tpt, temporary part-time, I had worked a day shift on the ramp. We would work our shift on one gate and unload and then reload cargo and luggage on the plane and send it out on it's next leg. In an 8 hour shift, we would typically work five flights on our gate.

Anyway, on this one day, as I was leaving to go home after work, I decided to cut through the flight attendants staging area and break room to get to the air trans that would take me out to the employee parking lot we had to park in.

Just a few days before, in addition to finding out that I was to finally become a permanent employee (with health insurance!), Lovely Wife had found out she was pregnant with Number Two Daughter. So I was pretty happy, things were looking up.

I opened the door to the flight attendants big break room where they waited for their next flight and as I cut through the room, a young lady stood up and stepped toward me.

Could have knocked me over with a feather. It was a girl that I had graduated from Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana with.

She had seen me walking toward their break room through the windows and had recognized me.

We stood and talked for ten minutes or so, catching up. I hadn't seen her since the night we graduated from high school almost eight years earlier.

See, Linda was one of the beautiful people in high school. Very sweet, but way up the social scale from me. Dance team, gorgeous, the total package. (That's a pic of her from our high school days.)

After we caught up with one another's lives, I went on my way.

In thinking on things, I was totally amazed that two people from another state crossed one another's paths years later and in such a strange location.

Linda had been a flight attendant for Delta for a number of years, and was still single.

If I remember correctly, she wasn't even based in Dallas, which made our encounter even more unlikely.

I know that stranger things have happened, and that stranger meetings happen all the time, just not to me.

A few years later, when talking to another friend who had attended my graduating class's tenth reunion, he told me that Linda had attended and that she was living in California and was married.

So I hope that Linda has had a good life. I remember being amazed at all the time had passed since graduation, but my chance encounter with her in the bowels of DFW Airport was NINETEEN YEARS ago now.


Well, that's my story. It was just one of those rare "It's a small world" things that actually happened to me. Like I said, I was reeling from the thought of eight years having gone by since I had last seen her, and now nineteen years has gone by since then.

Have you ever chanced upon someone you once knew, years later, and in an unlikely location?


Sharon Lynne said...

I haven't run into any charactors from the past recently.

The scary thing is---at this age--when people re-surface in my path, I don't always recognize them!

Janet said...

Here's a small word story that directly applies to your post: my cousin's husband is a retired pilot from Delta (he worked for Pan Am prior to Delta acquiring them) and my best friend from my days in Japan was from Monroe! See! Small world :-)