Have you noticed that some things seem to come in sets of three – good news, bad news, odd events? (See, that was three right there. ) Well, I’m waiting for the third blast from the past.
On Wednesday I attended a workshop for entrepreneurs at a hotel in Columbia, MD. The session was organized by TEDCO, who provide finances for technology startups in Maryland; we received a grant from them last year. The fellow who organized the workshop and I have corresponded often on a variety of topics, and we’d spoken on the phone on several occasions, but we’d never met in person. So naturally when I arrived I introduced myself.
Standing nearby was a man about my age, and given that we were the only three standing there at that moment he couldn’t help but hear our conversation. He came up to me a few minutes later and said, “Excuse me. I grew up in Kensington with a kid named Jackie Barse. Could that be you?” I looked at his name tag and was nearly struck dumb (not that that is ever going to happen). It was Frankie Robey, who lived two houses away when we lived in Parkwood. We were best friends until my family moved to Bethesda in 1959, a few months before I turned 8. What a complete and wonderful surprise, a real treat. We spent most of the breaks comparing notes and compressing 45 or so years’ worth of information into a few minutes. Can’t wait to get together and get the details of the intervening years.
Then Thursday I went downtown to have dinner with Gigi and go to the Caps game (which they won in a shootout, thank you.) I walked into Clyde’s and Gigi said, “Perhaps you know this man over here? He was a teacher at Landon while you were there, and he says he remembers you.” She turned to him and said, “Mr. Jacoby?” Before he could get a word out I realized that he was my math teacher in middle school, Mac Jacoby. We spent the next half hour or so chatting over a drink before he went to join his party. He was one of the best teachers I had at Landon, and I had a bunch of them. But he really stood out, both for the way he taught his classes and the way he handled the administrative bits. (Yes, even little Jackie Barse, Mr. Straight and Narrow, Mr. Rules of Golf, had occasion to learn about the ‘administrative bits’ in middle school. And that’s all I’m going to say on the subject.:-))
Yesterday was quiet: no voice or face from the distant past arrived. Maybe today. I hope.