Crazy small-world things

Miscellaneous discussions. Things that don't have anything to do with Western, Leatherneck Athletics, college sports in general, etc.
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ST_Lawson
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Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:04 am

A friend of mine originally from Macomb and who went to Western for a few years is a TV meteorologist out in Salt Lake City. He was out at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah this weekend, getting a beer at their Oktoberfest event and after a brief conversation, realized that the cashier is also from Macomb and is the daughter of a former assistant coach under Bruce Craddock. This kind of stuff seems like it happens to me all the time too (ran into Mike Pendergast at a restaurant in Tybee Island, GA, for example)...and I love it every time it does.

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sealhall74
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Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:06 pm

Craziest small world thing for me happened when I was in the Army stationed at Fort Sill, OK. A neighbor a couple of years older than me from Alexis, IL was an officer in the Marine Corps at the same time and happened to be taking a course on the base. I was taking a short cut trail to the PX and so we he, our paths just happened to cross that day. This day, I hardly go anywhere without my WIU hat on. I cannot count the times I have been stopped to ask about it. I think the most recent time was down in New Orleans while a friend and I were waiting to board the river boat. Sure enough, a girl on spring break from WIU and her family were right in front of us in line. I will say, though, that I also get a lot of people thinking my hat says WVU instead of WIU. Maybe I need a new hat or they need a few less beers at the airport bar. :lol:
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Neckfansince71
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Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:39 pm

So I am always wearing WIU gear no matter where I am or where I am going. But this "small world" story is probably the most "Twilight Zone" I have heard of. The summer of 70, 71, and 72 found me working as a life guard at Dundee Township pools of which there were 3. Just before I left for college in 71 I was working at Thresher Pool and one hot, summer day I found myself in the deep end guard chair watching a member of the park district diving team, trying to polish up his back dive. Unfortunately, the young man miscalculated his dive and he came down with his head hitting the diving board, disappearing under water in a trace of bubbles and blood. I violated pool rules when I dove into the pool from the guard chair, but no one really knew. I remember bringing him to the surface, I remember wrapping his neck in a brace and a-lot of blood and that is about it. The paramedics/fire department came and this young man left on a back board. The big pool was closed because the deck was a mess. In reality, I think I was too.

So I am not looking for “hero status” or anything like that. I did my job as I was trained. The summer days came and went and I headed off to WIU for my first year. It was a very exciting time. So fast forward, I opened the door for a young substitute one morning at Glenbard East. He introduced himself as Steve P. and of course I asked him where he was from. He said, Dundee for hometown, but WIU for his degree in business and I looked at him and said, “you and I need to talk. I am from Dundee and I went to WIU! So I found him during his plan period and sat down and said, “lets talk!” He graduated from Dundee in 1976, I graduated in 1971, so that was a miss. He was a wrestler who was recruited by WIU and graduated in 1980. He knew my sister but did not really know me, or so we thought. I walked away, knowing that there was more to this story but I could not put a finger on it. So I went back up to see him at the end of school, and I asked him, “did you swim at Thresher Pool during the summer?” He said yes. I looked at his hairline, and there low and behold was a scare. So I looked at him and said, “you were a diver weren’t you?” And his remark was, “yes until I hit the board doing a back flip when I was a 7th grader.” I could not believe it! “Well, I am the guy who went in after you that afternoon,” I said! I drove home feeling really good that day. He currently teaches at Waubonnsie Valley High School and coaches wrestling. Guess I feel blessed that I was able to help him that day.
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ST_Lawson
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Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:24 pm

That's an awesome story 71. I don't have anything quite that cool, but in addition to the one I mentioned in the first post, I've met:
  • A couple (and their high-school age kids) who were from Chicago and had met while attending Western...in a restaurant on the riverfront in Savannah, GA
  • An older couple from Peoria who's daughter went to Western...at North Padre Island, TX
  • A man who got an RPTA degree at WIU and then moved to work with the National Park Service...in Estes Park, CO
  • Also a waitress originally from Galesburg at a restaurant in Portland, OR (technically no WIU connection for her, but still "local")
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Neckfansince71
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Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:37 pm

Two Saturdays ago, we were at the Farmers Market in Morris and I man stopped me and said, " I graduated from WIU in 1973 and my wife, who is over there graduated in 1974." So I always ask where they lived and he said he lived in Thompson for four and was an RA. I asked him if he was in the "Halloween" food fight of 1971 and he said, yes, I certainly was! He told his wife and she said, that was as good as a food fight can get! She was there too! We just giggled the whole time we talked about it. I know it was not a good thing to do, but it was college, the 70's, and it just happened........Always, always good memories! ;) jc
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