Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Where’s George Synchronicity Callback



On May 2, I popped over to Meijer’s for my weekly Covid-bound groceries run; in front of the library at the entrance, I passed a dead cat. It was particularly upsetting, because it looked so much like my pal Jack when he was less than a year old. I went about my errands, aired-up the left rear tire on our car, grabbed some groceries, a utility light I’d been looking for recently, and a couple extra plastic bags, then parked at the library and recovered the body. Of course, it wasn’t Jack – he was in the back yard when I left, and was waiting by the gate when I returned – but May 2 happened to be Jack’s tenth birthday. The cat I found looked well cared-for; somebody loved him. An electronic stud-finder is nothing more than a hand-held metal detector, and the one I had had failed a while back, so I ordered one to pick up at the nearby Home Depot. On the way, I ended up behind a fire truck heading to an horrific accident… a destroyed SUV in the middle of High School Road, another up in the grass. Paramedics and police at the scene, an ambulance on its way from 38th street. Odd thing, just as I got to the accident scene, a big black spider that looked something like a crab, skittled across the dash and hopped onto the steering wheel – didn’t spook me, I blew on him and he fell off, but still… anyway – back home, I tested the cat, and the new stud finder detected metal around the back of his neck. Several times. Tested it on other items – something was in his neck, so I took him to the nearest Vet, who came out and tried to read his chip – but, no results. If it was a chip, which I think it was, it had failed or been damaged in the accident. And, to prove the first rule of synchronicity – no good deed goes unpunished – halfway home from the Vet, I ran over a long yellow screw that stuck into – of course – the tire I’d aired up earlier. Tick tick tick tick, four times per second, all the way home. Still have great memories of the night Tessa gave birth to Jack and his sisters…

Over the next week, I was surprised to find that thirteen-inch tires had become a difficult to find commodity in Indiana; the store that sold me several over the years didn’t carry them any longer, and the manager seemed rather shocked, or distressed, that I’d dared asked for one. He did assure me that a sister store fifty miles away had one (maybe), and I could drive there on my nifty yellow screw. A few days later, his nearest competitor, a block away, managed to scare one up for me.

A couple of days after the purchase, I opened up the utility light – it was DOA, and wouldn’t charge. Busy and distracted, I didn’t get around to returning it until May 16. I expected the purchase price to be refunded via debit card, and was surprised when the clerk handed me cash, wrapped in my receipt. I didn’t look at the cash again for a few days; in between, late at night, I thought about the time I played a little synchronicity game of mine with “Where’s George,” and decided to check my bills – something I hadn’t done for years. I had to change my password; it had been so long since I’d logged on.

Looking at the bills on May 20, I noticed the $1 bill on top had a “Where’s George” stamp on it, so I went back to the website and entered the bill. It had traveled 24 miles in the 154 days since it had first been entered.

Certainly, there are no earth-shattering coincidences here, and nothing prophetic; no predictive value in my observing the oddball confluences in my life. Still, it did take a dead cat on his look-alike’s birthday, a traffic accident and a creepy jumping spider, a yellow screw, a bit of a run-around looking for a tire, a dead utility light and a cash refund, all perfectly chained together, to get me back to Where’s George with a new entry, and the starting point of this silly blog of mine, 14 years since it began. It’s funny, what we notice, once we begin looking for it.

Almost forgot – the day I got my new tire, I wandered around with my camera for two hours, and found, in the grass in front of the tire shop – another dollar bill. Guess I should enter this fellow into the George database.

Synchronicity and Where's George May 2007


Monday, May 3, 2021

Those Family Tales...

Heroic family stories… we all have them. There’s the one about an ancestor of mine, crossing the Ohio River into Indiana from Kentucky with her children in tow, standing up in that buckboard, fending off “Wild Indians” with her shotgun… never happened. Or from Flo’s side of the family, the uncle’s scar, a facial slash, from one of Rommel’s men while fighting in North Africa–when Eoin wanted to include that tale in a school project, the uncle admitted he was just having fun with a naive younger generation–the scar dated back to a childhood auto accident, from the days of cheap windshields and no seat belts.

During the pandemic, I’ve discovered the joys of at-home research using searchable newspaper archives… and one of the family stories I decided to check out was one I recorded in my blog about memories of the old northside, from ten years ago:


“One tale I do not myself remember: I was an infant and my father had just started on the police department—my mother awoke in the middle of the night to fix me a bottle. She heard groaning coming from the alley, and calls for help. She did not want to wake my father, who had just gotten to sleep after a long shift, so she ignored the cries. The next morning, my folks saw police and onlookers crowded into the alley behind the house. About a block away, a man had been caught cheating on his pregnant wife. The couple had a fight, and she stabbed him with a butcher knife. He staggered down the alley crying out for help, and died behind our house. My dad was teased for some time for sleeping through that one.”

The only real discrepancy I could discover in the July 20, 1954 newspaper article, was that she nailed him with “a small paring knife,” rather than a butcher knife. An added juicy tidbit that didn’t make it into the family lore: the wronged wife’s defense was championed and fund-raised by the horndog-husband’s own mother.

One thing you can say about old family memories… the more embarrassing they are, the more likely they are to be true. 😊




Not Guilty!!