I had a really unique experience today that I want to share but will have to give you a little of my background first. I hope you find it interesting.
I was I good Baptist in the St. Louis area (Ferguson/Florissant) until my mother brought us all to the KH and I was baptized at age 15. I had a great friend then who was always cheerful, very good at expressing himself and just fun to do things with, his name Tommy Kitz. His father owned and managed a Beauty College in Florissant, they lived in a very wealthy neighborhood, and were known to be generous and fun loving people. When the KH in Kinlock was destroyed by arson we use one of the College’s large class rooms for over one year for our meetings.
As I think back, Tommy and I tried just about everything: On Interstate 270 we found out just how fast a Corvair could go, and to our surprise how long it took it to stop. Just discovering the opposite sex we accidentally invented a rating system- The first to see a looker would point and yell Wooo Seeee. That type came to called a Whoosy. Those less endowed we would point and say We Seeeee, thus a Weesy. Just silly juvenile behavior that makes me wonder now why we issue drivers licenses to sixteen year olds.
Well in late 1966 Tommy moved to Alton Illinois and in early 1967 I went to Bethel in Brooklyn NY. I had heard from friends that he was not doing much about the “troof” so I had not even thought about Tommy until Joy and I exited recently and I wondered what ever happened to Tommy Kitz.
THIRTY SIX YEARS LATER
Today I was coordinating the sod layers on the last of the Townhouse project here in the Florida panhandle that I have been working on for two years. A fellow, looking a little too elderly for the red convertible sports car he was driving, pulled up and asked if the end unit was still for sale. Absorbing the bad news with a grimace he asked what it sold for. Hearing the price he was even more disappointed. He asked if I was going to build any more and I told him perhaps but it would be a couple years before any would be ready, thinking that would put him off and I could get back to work.
Noooo, he was interested and wanted my name and phone number so he could keep in touch. As he wrote down Steve Ixxxx he paused and said “I knew a Steve Ixxxx. in St. Louis where I went to high school”. As my mind raced through my relatives and where they lived across St. Louis wondering which relative he knew (not that many with my last name) it hit me. What!!, he said STEVE Ixxxx. I thought it a bit surprising that there was another Steve Ixxxx in the world, but this guy knew one in St. Louis, where I grew up. ( so your going )
“What high school did you go to” is asked. “McCluer” he replied. Well you know it only took a faction of a second but the next thoughts my feeble organic processor assimilated were:
This guy knew someone with the same name as mine,
He knew this person in St. Louis where I grew up
He went to the same high school I graduated from.
Since we went to the same high school maybe I knew this guy.
If I knew this guy, why didn’t I meet that other Steve Ixxxx?
(There you go with the again)
Finally the brain caused the mouth to ask, “So what is your name”
IS THIS A BELIEVABLE COINCIDENCE?
I had a really unique experience today that I want to share but will have to give you a little of my background first. I hope you find it interesting. TEENAGE YEARS
Great story Just2,
Were you part of the group sent to Bethel in 1967 for construction projects on the farm?
My pioneer partner in Ga, another Tommy was called up in that same year. Perhaps you remember him, Tom Henry?
Tom and I went through high school and graduated together in 1965. He stayed at Bethel for about 3 or 4 yrs. Then he moved to Tupelo Miss and married a 'southern peach'.......I flew out to see him from California for several days.. he barely said a word about his Bethel stay. In fact he said it wasn't what one would expect.
I don't know what ever happened to Tommy..........maybe someday we will meet again........your story an indication of 'you just never know'.
Had he left the org as well?
I went in 1967 to Brooklyn and was assigned to the factory. After the manditory period of humbling servitude in the magazine department I was sent to the machine shop.
When I returned to bethel with my wife in 1975 I spent about two months in construction on the Towers remodel before going back to the machine shop. I did now a lot of guy in construction but do not remember Tom Henry.
The Bethel experience either made a person more blindly loyal than ever, or it was devestating to their Watchtower type spirituality. I had 5 room mates in 6 years (including my wife) and all but one has left the organization. He may have left too, I just haven't located him.
Hope you locate Tom Henry. Let us know.
I had a similar experience a few months ago. (the guy wasn't a dub though)
I went to High School about 40 miles South of where we live now. (just a little start to the story)
My hubby has his own business, drywall contracting. One day, when I answered the phone, a man requested a time when he could talk to Dave. He was a general contractor, wanting a good drywall company to work with. I wrote down his name and phone number, and his name was very familiar. So I said, "I went to high school with a Dan U-------." He asks "what HS was that" and when I told him it was Glacier High School in South Seattle, he said "what was your name". It was the same guy, a big wheel in the school, two years ahead of me, and he remembered me, saying "I know you.........you were that cute little blonde who lived by the golf course". I was stunned he remembered me. As it turns out, he lives on our street, about two blocks North. My kids went to high school with his kids. I remember them saying the names too, and never thought it could be connected.
Great stories ... Hope you two can get together in the Red Convertible and find a Whoosy or two...
That brings up the question... Is there a good place to post "Looking for..." ? I would like to try to find a couple of old friends myself, but last I heard, years ago we where 1000's of miles apart.
As it turns out, he lives on our street, about two blocks North.
You must have passed him many times on the street but did not recocgnize him because the he had changed so much since high school, right?
When I last saw Tommy he was not even shaving, a little pudgy and a bit of a girly smile. The man I was talking to in the red convertible looked so old and different from Tommy I asked to see his drivers licence to prove it was him. I REALLY DID.
Loved your story. It is similar to my story where I went back to Mexico for the second time on vacation and ran into the same guy from Texas in the same restaurant he had taken me out to meet the first time I met him on vacation there. I don't believe it's a coincidence, but some sort of natural law of attraction going on that we don't quite understand the mechanics of yet.
I assume that you are going to keep in touch with him......
What a weird and wonderful story. In 1977 I visited the Grand Canyon on vacation (we were there when Elvis died.) I went down to the pool at the hotel and was talking to some young people. They were from California and we got along great. We went and hiked the Grand Canyon together, their family and mine. It was at the end of the day and we said our goodbyes. "Emily" and I got along great, we both loved Elton John and were about the same age. We exchanged addresses and when we got back home we started corresponding with each other. I was better at it than her, but a year later she came to my city for a band camp. We saw each other again and had a great time hanging out that week. She went back to California and pretty much stopped writing. Teenagedom had set in, no time for priorities like writing, just boys and cars.
Fast forward 25 years - last year I am talking to a woman in New York about an order for my business. She starts saying "Texas, that's a great state. I corresponded with a girl there for a while. We met in Arizona on vacation." I listened to her and she said "you know I was in Texas one time. I went to band camp." I said to her "well you know she really loved visiting with you and thought you were awesome Emily ____. She says is that you...she didn't believe me until I started telling her things about our shared trip together in the GC, and mutual love of Elton John and that she played the flute. We both started crying. The one thing that really struck me...her daughter's middle name is my first name. She said she always loved that name...that's when I really started to lose it.
I am fully convinced she is meant to be in my life. Hey and I have a free place to stay when I go to NYC - lol
now you guys made me cry!