I had noticed Bev in exercise class. She is always trim and tidy in her jeans and cashmere sweaters, her face carefully tended, and her posture erect. One day we introduced ourselves and asked the usual questions. “Where have you lived the major part of your life?” she asked.
“San Mateo. I lived in San Mateo area for about 40 years. I last lived in San Mateo Park.”
“Oh,” she said, “I lived in San Mateo Park. Where did you live?”
“Occidental Avenue. I have forgotten the house number. What about you?”
She squinted into the past and answered, “I can’t remember. Oh, well.”
The class started. We didn’t talk about other lives any more.
Until last week. Bev and her husband sat behind me at the Wednesday evening concert and she tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and she said, “526 Occidental Avenue.”
Surprised, I said, “That’s right! How did you know my address?”
“No,” she smiled. “That was MY address.”
I chuckled through the entire concert. At its conclusion, Bev and I compared notes. The dog run along side of the house, the pool in the back yard, the bonus room downstairs. She said, “I had barely put the house on the market and some woman came by, walked around, and said she would buy it.”
I nodded. She said, “You got a very good deal.”
Those who know me, know I love Small World Stories. Up until last week, my favorite one was about the time I was standing a long time in the china department of Harrods in London. I was waiting to be helped so when a pleasant looking young woman approached me, I said, “I’m glad to see you. I’d like to buy Peter Rabbit mugs…….” and hadn’t finish my sentence before she said, “I don’t work here. Aren’t you Matt Love’s mom! …… We were in San Mateo High together.“
I think we all have these stories. They seem especially prevalent here in Spring Lake Village. I was telling about Bev’s and my having lived in the same house on Occidental, and my walking buddy stopped and said, “My grandmother lived in the 600 block of Occidental Avenue in San Mateo Park.”