Columnist: Is it a small world after all?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

Have you ever been in a large airport, or huge arena, or New York City at Christmas? These places always make me feel very tiny. I wonder how in the world God keeps up with all of us? How important are each one of us in the scheme of things?

I am sure we have all felt like a little ant at times scurrying around trying to find our place in the world. But how many times while you were scurrying did you run into someone you knew or know? Happens all the time.

My mother and father traveled from LaGrange in 1964 to San Diego, California. They flew there to bring my brother’s pride and joy back to Georgia.

It was his 1964 Mustang fastback. He was shipping out for his tour of duty in Vietnam.

On their way back, Dad saw a Stuckey’s somewhere near the Grand Canyon. He always did like those pecan logs and orange juice. The gray mustang was the only car pulled up to the building.

The manager greeted them as they walked in.

“Welcome to Stuckey’s!” the affable man exclaimed.

“Howdy!” Dad responded as he waved his hand up in the air.

“You Southern?” the manager asked.

“Born in Tennessee, but moved to Georgia two years ago.”

Within minutes Dad found that the manager of Stuckey’s in the middle of Arizona came from Hogansville, Georgia. He moved west after working for many years at Trammell Hardwood Flooring Company in LaGrange. He left just before Dad arrived as the new general manager for Trammell Hardwood Flooring Company.

Dad retold that story a thousand times before he died.

“I reckon it’s a small world after all,” he would say.

An old friend of mine called me the other day. I haven’t talked to Larry in years. He had read one of my articles about Tennessee and wanted to ask me a question.

It was so nice to catch up with Larry and I could just see his joyful face as I was conversing with him.

“Lynn, I just know I went to college with a relative of yours. Did you have a cousin that went to the University of Georgia named Ann?”

“I do have a cousin by the name of Ann Walker, but she graduated from Alabama.”

Larry, went on, “Well, this girl was from McMinnville, Tennessee. Didn’t you live there at one time?”

I couldn’t believe Larry remembered I came to LaGrange from McMinnville in 1962.

I told him to hold on while I retrieved my 1961 Tennessee annual from the dusty shelf it was on. I didn’t recall an Ann Walker.

I thumbed through the pages. As I did, Larry kept talking.

“Lynn, she reminds me of you. She always did. Look for someone like that.”

I laughed as I responded, “Poor girl.”

A couple of months prior to Larry’s call, my granddaughter was at the age she was packing up and giving away her Barbie dolls.

I told her just because she was a certain age did not mean she had to do so. I recounted a memory about a friend of mine in McMinnville.

When I was 9 my friend was 11, and she would sneak her Barbie dolls out of a closet. She did not want her friends to know she still liked dolls. We would play with them, in secret, at her house. Her name was Ann Lewis.

“Larry, is it Ann Lewis?”

I heard a gasp, “That’s her!! Why in the world did I think she was a Walker!

It’s a small, small world.

When my granddaughter first started pre-school at age 3 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida she found her best friend. They have been like sisters now for eight years.

Lia is one of our family. She has been on vacations with us and is about the funniest kid I know. I call her “The Lia” because there is not another one like her.

One of my dad’s closest friends in LaGrange was George Mansour. They were opposites that liked the opposite in each other. I went to school and was good friends with many of the Mansour children.

When I met Lia, I asked her what her last name was.

“My name is Lia Mansour!” she proclaimed.

It’s a small, small world.

Last September three couples were in the Milan, Italy, airport heading back to Atlanta. My husband and I were one of the three.

As we were waiting to board, we tried to find seats in an extremely crowded large airport. The three couples separated to find seats wherever they could.

After touring some shops, I returned to sit by my husband only to find my seat taken. I found our friends in another section. They were engrossed in a conversation with a gentleman that, from a distance, looked very similar to an old friend from my LaGrange High School class who had also been my neighbor.

As I got closer, I realized it was indeed my friend from school! Out of thousands of people, there he was having a conversation with our close friends who are also my neighbors.

It’s a small, small world.

We all have similar stories. I am sure if I called any one of you, you would tell me one. We always say it is a coincidence and a surprise. But perhaps it is way more than that.

The world is a vast place and we can feel lost in it. We can feel insignificant and tiny. A spec in a sea of humanity.

However, I think the Creator of this world wants us to see that in His eyes, each one of us is large to Him. He reminds us that we are connected to each other in ways that are really not so small after all.

The next time you surprisingly, coincidentally have a “small world” incident, think of it as a huge gift to remind you that you are indeed, very important.

Lynn Walker Gendusa

Contributing columnist

Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former LaGrange resident who currently resides in Roswell.