I was at the March for Our Lives event in Medford, Oregon, with about a thousand others yesterday, when I spied a Pittsburgh Steelers hat on a tall individual. It was a crowded space, but eventually, finding him beside me, I said, “Hey, a Steelers fan,” because so am I. Laughing, he pointed at my USAF Retired hat. “And you’re retired from the Air Force,” he said. “Like my Dad.”
His father had retired from the Air Force and moved back to Pittsburgh, PA. We chatted and uncovered that we’d lived in the same Pittsburgh neighborhoods decades ago. He was fifteen years younger than me, but we’d attended the same schools, including Turner Elementary School on Laketon Road in Wilkinsburg. Like me, he’d followed a convoluted path to reach Oregon. My last stop before Oregon was Half Moon Bay, California, and his last stop was Madison, Wisconsin. He’d only been in Oregon three years. As a military brat, he was familiar with the places where I’d been assigned, and I knew his locations.
Besides politics, we talked about the changes back in the Pittsburgh area, and the Google location there, which we’d both visited. Six degrees of separation, small world, et cetera. He was like a familiar face in the crowd, to finish the cliche trifecta.