It’s truly a small world. In meeting people during my world travels over the years I’m always captivated and amazed by connections and common experiences people share and I often collect these stories.
As a bit of background I spent a fair amount of my life growing up in Upstate New York, in a region known as the Adirondacks. A historical area of mountains, beautiful countryside, small cities and towns, north of Albany and Saratoga. It’s also the area in which much of the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War was fought – so lots of US and British Colonial history.
One of the small villages in this area, which is now a seasonal tourist destination is Lake George Village (population 985) on the southern end of Lake George, also known as the Queen of America’s Lakes. This is where the story and popular movie starring Daniel Day Lewis “The Last of the Mohican’s” is centered. As a high school and college student I’d spend my school breaks and summers working a variety of jobs in this area, doing everything from grounds keeping to bartending.
Being a tourist attraction for the people from “the city” or from up north in Canada, there are all the normal sights, sounds and trappings you’d expect to see to help separate visitors from their money. One such attraction is the “House of Frankenstein” wax museum. (http://www.frankensteinwaxmuseum.com). One summer I applied for a job as Frankenstein, who would stand outside the museum taking photos with the visitors and attract tourists into the house of horrors. Frank is a fixture in Lake George that I remember from my visits there as a young child and he still roams the street front to this day sneaking up on unwary passersby. To my dismay I didn’t get the job, and I’d always assumed it may have been because I was not tall enough.
Now flash forward 30 years to a camp fire in May 2014 at the Muscles job in Belgium.
After grilling steaks and dinner, while sitting around the camp fire I found myself sitting next to Adam and we struck up a conversation as you normally would asking each other where we came from. Mentioning I was from Upstate New York, which is used to clarify to most people that I’m not from “the city”, Adam proceeds to tell me that he spent a summer as a student in Upstate New York, working in a resort area of Lake George, so imagine my surprise that there was a common understanding and experience between Adam and I.
But now imagine my astonishment when he goes onto to tell me that he was hired as Frank at the ‘House of Frankenstein”. The one job I never got, and to my dismay that I’m at least a couple of inches taller than Adam, . . . so now I’m really wondering why I didn’t get that job all those years ago.
But the shock of coming across a ‘Brit’ all these years later, who I met through MFC with the connection through Bish and Mischief, still amazes me each time that I recall the story and I’m asked to share it. Many of our lives are interconnected through webs of common experiences, associations and shared friendships and this is one of my favorites.