Sunday, August 8, 2010

Strange Happenings . . .

. . . A New Batch Today

Last week I closed this topic with a question as to who might have more to relate . Enough material has turned up for a number two blog of strange happenings.

Just yesterday came a phone call from Florida that provided fodder for today's writing but first let me explain something that forecast this happening.

Every morning in the newspaper, beside my crossword puzzle, there appears a column of horoscope readings. Some people believe them religiously.

About a month ago one said that thinking of long ago happenings, jobs, friends and other stuff would bring along a surprise telephone call from someone only vaguely remembered from the past.

Guess I don't have to tell you what I am about to relate now.

From St. Petersburg, as I answered the phone, I heard "I was browsing around the Internet and I saw a comment on a picture page about Randy Trabold. I recognized your name and thought 'hey, he's still alive' and decided to find out if you were."

And then : "Are you the Charlie that ran a rock shop on Park Street in Adams and worked for The Transcript?"

Of course my answer was yes and then for more than half an hour I listened to a fellow named Steve relating how as a youngster now 59, he spent all his allowance money buying crystals from Grandma Shasta who really ran the rock shop. I gradually began to recall who he was but not what he looked like.

He went on to tell me that he later also worked for The Transcript and still had some good friends there. "How is Ron? he asked and was taken aback to hear from me that Ron, a Parkinson's Disease patient, has passed away.

Steve related things I did not know about the paper's ownership. The owners (now deceased), he said, who had sold the newspaper to a conglomerate which they felt ruined the paper, tried desperately to buy the firm back and restore it but failed.

He was dismayed to learn of the passing of others he knew and then suddenly told me that the son of one of the former owners, Robert Jr., was an employee of The Boston Globe.

Steve plans further communication with me, closing with the fact he still knows folks I know in the Northern Berkshire Mineral Club. BTW Steve says he is a computer geek now.

Another of the "Strange Happenings" bit, several instances in fact, came along from daughter Yarntangler, a nomad with husband Geezerguy and canine friend Clancy in a motorhome currently parked in Kanab, Utah, where they are working as camp hosts, storytellers, gift shop employees , tour guides and researchers. People like them are called WorkKampers.

A visiting couple got into conversation with Yarntangler, who has a bit of my reporterial genes in her. She elicited the information they once lived in Ferndale, Washington, where she lived and the male half of the duo often helped their son, Skooba, work on his hot rod.

Next she learned the couple now live in Canada , "in a little town in Ontario." Next question: "Ever heard of Bancroft?" Quite surprised, the duo together exclaimed "that's where we live!"

At this point I must explain, I'm putting words into all their mouths for the purpose of this blog but of course I was not there for the conversations.

Yarntangler wrote the e-mail addresses for she and Geezerguy and for me after then asking the folks if they knew Hing and Winnie, friends we all had met thirty or forty or so years ago while rockhunting in Bancroft, the self-proclaimed rockhound capital of Canada.

"Oh, yes, we know them, they still have a rock shop there." The folks took the e-mail addresses back to Bancroft and I have already heard from Winnie and Hing.

Now here's the stunning windup of the Yarntangler-Canuck duo meeting.
The conversation disclosed that Mr. (name not disclosed by Yarntangler)
went to school in Massachusetts with Yarntangler's MOTHER, Grandma Shasta !

Before this "Strange Happenings" series came to mind, one of the blogs written perhaps last year related the strange tale of the travels of "Mrs. Mike." It's too long to repeat here, but I might later. If you scroll back through "older posts" you'll find it.

There will be, no doubt, a third installment before long of "Strange Happenings" because I have found some scribblings on the desk about who I met in England once, (my fourth grade teacher) something about Niagara Falls and an ammonia leak in the travel trailer and --- this one bothers me --- a note that says, "2:30 am, I'm writing in the dark, but do a blog about Boy Scouts."

That brings to mind an experience once covering a lecture on blind people and being challenged to put on a blindfold while making notes and having the newsaper (by prior unknown arrangement) publish verbatim the story done in the dark.

- 30 -


  1. An old reporter's maxim, stolen by Hollywood and given to Dragnet's Jack Webb, was "just the facts, m'am." Well, you got all the facts, what happened to them was an entertaining bit of Artistic License!

  2. The older we get, the smaller the world gets! I meet people with connections to my past all the time in the Air Force. We have had same bosses, same jobs, and even shared offices only days apart. Right now, I've got a guy working for me here in Tucson who worked for me almost ten years ago in Omaha! Weird!

    -Sage Words