November 26, 2012

No such thing as a coincidence


---- — There are no coincidences. I’ve formed that opinion after a lot of living.

There are many dots throughout our lives and we should strive to connect them. Remember those puzzle books we worked with as children? They had such memorable riddles as, “How many balls of twine would it take to reach the moon? Answer: All of them.”

I still have that book. It also contains pages full of numbered dots. I faithfully drew penciled lines from the first dot to the last and was amazed when a spaceship or giraffe was revealed.

After all these years, I’m still connecting dots — figuratively, if not literally. When I tell ghost stories, I speak of life’s dots and back up my theory with recent events that are interesting and fun. By way of example, I got a wonderful email recently from my friend Eileen Ward. She and her husband, Leo “Bud” Ward, came here with the Air Force many years ago, and serendipity has brought us together in wonderful ways; especially over the past couple years.

Here is her note: “O.M.G. Something awesome just happened and I want to tell someone who would understand; so, Gordie, of course, YOU came to mind! I was just sitting quietly on my sofa looking out at the lake when Denver (their beautiful dog) started barking as if someone had come into the room; and at the same time, a music box in the room started playing. Mind you, it hasn’t been wound up in ages. I told Denver ‘quiet’ and he stopped barking, but he was still on alert and the music box kept playing. How cool is that? This music box is my own, not having belonged to anyone else, so now to figure out who is saying HELLO! I LOVE it!”

An interesting story in and of itself, right? But there’s more. Ten minutes later, Eileen sent me an addendum: “Well! My niece just reminded me that TODAY is my dad’s birthday … he would have been 93 if he were still alive. SO, mystery solved! Happy birthday to my dad! Smile.”

That’s one of those lovely stories that needs no extra commentary.

I recently opened my Facebook site and saw a large number of nostalgic images, supplied by my nieces and nephews and several generations of my brother Jim’s family in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. They were captured from color slides, taken from the 1950s through several decades. I was enthralled to see pictures I had never seen and some I hadn’t viewed for a very long time.

Among them were views of our construction work on the St. Lawrence Seaway, camping trips at Cole’s Creek, old cars we owned and a special picture of our parents and my favorite Aunt Rae. Her love for Jim and me was showered on us in myriad ways from crib to college. She invited me for vacations in her Maplewood, N.J., home and gave me indelible memories of her 1949 Crosley automobile, visits to the local movie theater, a night at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J., to see “Roberta” and so much more.

Every inch of her house at 23 Garthwaite Terrace, a dead end and beautiful street, is stamped on my brain. Every ping-pong game in the basement, the smell of her perfume and my Uncle Harold’s White Owl cigar still haunt me in delightful ways.

As Kaye and I sipped our morning coffee and viewed the slides on my computer, I was transported on the wings of angels. When breakfast was over, I told my dear friend Les Bradford about the experience and logged onto the Internet to see if Garthwaite Terrace even exists any more.

The first thing that popped onto my screen when I Googled “Garthwaite Terrace,” with no specific house number, was a large photograph of that very house and many others pictures, both inside and outside as part of a realtor’s ad selling it for well over a half-million dollars.

Coincidence? I think not.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to connect the dots.

Have a great day and, please, drive carefully.

Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the “Our Little Corner” television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at