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5.72 Degrees of Separation- or 6, if Canadian is accepted at par;) - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
5.72 Degrees of Separation- or 6, if Canadian is accepted at par;)

My home regions of the last 30-plus years- Rochester and Buffalo- have both proven themselves over and over to be small towns masquerading as larger cities.  I'm never surprised to find that Ray Client X is married to Eleanor Boss Y, or that Cameron's stepmother is suddenly featured in a local newspaper piece for an act of heroism.

It's even more shocking, though, when the connections cross into major cities and even over an international border- and so it was at 8-ish this morning.  I was listening to Jazz.FM in the car on the way to Rachacha- something I usually don't do if I'm listening to a Night Vale podcast or the AM radio sports honks, but I'd run out of the former and the latter are just too depressing these days, so I had the morning jazz show on. For the first time ever, I heard a weekly feature of the show from that day and hour called, simply, Music Memory- where host Heather asks listeners to write in about a moment that they associate with a particular song of their genre.

I didn't catch the name at first- if she even mentioned more than just "Liz"- but enjoyed the short tale, duplicated on their website here:

"My daughter Emma was a horrible sleeper and always had a hard time falling asleep on her own.  The minute I laid her down in her crib, she would wake up - Mummy's warm embrace was no longer there to comfort her.  My husband Bill was often the only one that could get her to sleep and stay asleep.  You see, Emma loved to walk  -  she was most content in her stroller and she would often take naps there - rain or shine, hot or freezing.

On nights when the weather was bad and Emma wouldn't go to sleep, Bill would do 'laps' of our first floor.  The dining room was right under our bedroom, and I would listen to the stroller wheels hit the wooden floors after rolling silently on the carpet. Bill would also sing to Emma to help the process.  Now, I understand that normal people sing lullabies to babies.  Not Bill.  He preferred leafing through his memory banks of Jazz standards. The song that worked the best was "Good Bye Pork Pie Hat", Mingus' elegy to Lester Young.  Bill is a great musician but a lousy singer.  However, this song, with its limited range was mastered by him.  Even with a floor separating us I could recognize those plaintive notes.  Today, whenever I hear that tune, I envision that stroller, wearing wheel treads into the dining room carpet, while a blissful Emma was lulled to sleep by her adoring Jazz-loving father."

That's when Heather gave Liz's full name (again?), and the references to "Bill," their kid's "jazz-loving father," hit home with me:

Bill's from Buffalo. He's a  bankruptcy lawyer. I've known him as long as I've known Eleanor, give or take a month or so either side.

If this had been a bit on one of the local NPR stations, I'd have shrugged it as one of Those Things we run into all the time. But on an international radio signal, at that precise moment, which I'd never experienced before?

I Facebooked the Pork Pie Hat reference on the spot, later filling in the blanks, and Bill replied fairly quickly that he'd had no idea it was coming today.  So I not only got the joy of the moment but got to pay it forward. Sideways. Something.


The day couldn't get any better than that, but it challenged.  Emily's car is back with her, the joy buzzer never having been installed but two other problems finally fixed and an alternative solution to the dead-battery issue having been purchased.  I also figured out two things in the other office today that other folks couldn't, and both figurings were much appreciated.  Tomorrow is dental work, but tonight is ending happily:)

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