This is no Disney story.
You don’t need a ginormous theme park to realize that it is, after all, a small world we live in. All you have to do is live in Fairfield Glade to experience that truth.
Since moving here in 2005, I have had numerous encounters with folks that are from my home state of Ohio and even my hometown or cities in which I lived for many years.
That is probably not a revelation to you, dear reader, as chances are you, too, have experienced this. After all, we live in a resort area which entertains hundreds — if not thousands — of visitors each year.
Still, it fascinates me how OFTEN we can run into someone that we either knew in the past or they know someone we know or knew, etc. etc.
One example of this happened to me a couple of months ago. There was a group of eight golfers, varying in age from young to senior citizen. One of the linksters had an Ohio State hat on and — as we Buckeyes are prone to do — I said, “Go Bucks!” to him. He responded with, “O-H!” …. to which I replied “I-O!” (because, you see, that spells Ohio and that is how it’s done).
Well, I struck up a conversation and a few of the golfers were from my hometown of Lima, Ohio. In fact, when I told them what high school I attended there (Lima Shawnee), one mentioned that he worked with a girl that went to Lima Shawnee.
Of course I then inquired as to the person’s name. And was blown away — not only did I know the person they were referring to, but she and I had grown up together in the same neighborhood!
Then the elder statesman of the group said he had attended Lima Senior High School. I told him that my parents (Glade residents) were part of the first graduating class of Lima Senior after Central and South High Schools combined.
He said he had gone to South. I told him my mother had, too. I told him she grew up on S. Pine St. He said, “Oh, I lived right around the corner from her then. No doubt she knew who I was because most of the girls did, “ he said with a chuckle.
Nevertheless, it was enjoyable meeting them.
But you don’t have “small world” events here in the Glade. Sometimes it works in reverse.
Let me explain:
It was probably six or seven years ago when I was working as a property manager in Crossville.
My boss had a property in Branson, Missouri that, occasionally, I would travel to and check on and ensure all things were running smoothly.
While I was there, I went to the original Outback Steakhouse and sat in the lounge at the bar, enjoying a cocktail and dinner.
A nice married couple sat down next to me and, in time, we struck up a conversation.
They were on a trip together and I explained why I was there. As I did so, I mentioned Crossville. The couple lit up — responding that they were living in the Crossville area … in a resort community called Fairfield Glade.
I about fell off my stool.
I told them I, too, lived in Fairfield Glade — and we all talked about it being … you guessed it, a small world.
That was a rare event, no doubt, as most “small world” encounters occur here in the Glade as tourists filter in and out.
Why, one such encounter happened just last week when I was picking up some food at Stonehenge Grille.
My carryout order was just placed in front of me when I saw two men — one older and one teenager — come in to pick up their own order.
I noticed the teenager had a shirt with “LCC” on the front.
It was fashioned with the school colors of Lima Central Catholic — one of my alma mater’s fiercest rivals.
So, of course, I asked if that was what the “LCC” signified. He responded in the affirmative and they confirmed they were visiting from Lima.
We talked for a few minutes about the LCC-Shawnee rivalry as their food arrived. Come to find out, the older fella’s sister-in-law is a girl I graduated with.
Small world, yada yada.
We exchanged pleasantries and they paid for their food and left.
After I had paid, I looked down and noticed that my bags of food were gone!
Yep! The Lima natives had scooped my food up along with their own!
No doubt, it was on purpose.
Rivals to the bitter end.