Coincidence? … Nah, Pick Up the Phone! says coincidence is the “condition or fact of coinciding”.  Coincidence is defined in another place as “a sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged”.  British Dictionary calls it “a chance occurrence of events remarkable for being simultaneous or for apparently being connected”.

Another that I heard recently, and like, says coincidence is “God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

Regardless, a series of things somehow got connected in my convoluted mind and have led to yet another proposal for personal policy and conduct progress:

  1. An old childhood friend had a birthday.
  2.  My son informed me of his choices for groomsman for his upcoming nuptials.
  3. I played catch with an over 50 friend trying to get in shape to go to Florida for a baseball tournament.
  4. Stuart Scott passed away.

Freddie Fox and I played second base and shortstop next to each other from the time we were 10 until we graduated from high school. A year behind me in school, upon his graduation his father informed Freddie he was now the owner of the bowling alley in our hometown that had the worst lanes but best cheeseburgers around!  His dad was going up north for a new venture and Fred was now in charge, which included supervising older siblings. He has been at Recreation Bowl, aptly nicknamed “The Rec” for 41 years.

Facebook popped his birthday up for me a short time back, and spur of the moment I called, to be greeted with, “Lary Sorensen? I used to know a Lary Sorensen.”  The Lions were getting ready to play the Packers in Green Bay and there was talk of a road trip, which brought back the trip to Milwaukee when I played for the Brewers and he and a group of our friends couldn’t find a van to rent. So we simply rented a U-Haul, bought some folding chairs, and that’s how we got around for the weekend.  Made it easier to transport the keg of beer, too!

My son Mark, soon to be 29, called to tell me who he was inviting to stand up in his wedding (in September, so this is fair warning you’ll be hearing about it again).  Four college teammates and roommates on Michigan State University’s baseball team, and a high school pal that was the wide receiver to his quarterbacking.  He went back to Detroit for Christmas, then to Memphis for New Year’s and was able to ask all of them in person.

Another good friend evidently is going to try a comeback at 56 years of age and is heading to Florida to play in a couple of tournaments for over 50’s.  Because he will read this, I will mention that losing just the 20 pounds isn’t going to do it. Try for thirty!  But we also got started on “where are they now’s?” as we re-lived some college days of our own, before we knew each other.

And then, Stuart Scott passed away, and received numerous well deserved and sincerely heartfelt good-byes in very public places because of his role as an extremely talented ESPN news anchor and his battle with cancer.  I would implore you to look up his speech at the Jimmy V Foundation tribute recently; it will get you like it got me.  I knew him only from a very brief meeting, but always, always heard great things from people I trust that knew him well.  Essentially, another guy on that “I wish I had gotten to spend time with him” list.

You know, of course, where all this is headed.  It seems every couple of years too many friends are taken too early, and we always say “I meant to” or “I wish I had”.  We all grow older, move away, and change our habits.  Certainly re-marrying has involved a whole new circle of friends and acquaintances’. But the last funeral I attended had too many conversations start with “Gee, it was too long since I saw her last”.

So Jimmy, Seyf, “The Bear”, Roomie, St. Thomas, Bruce, Eck and Uncle Mike; you can all expect calls soon.  Probably have to track down some numbers.  But there are memories to re-share, some amends to be made and many laughs to be had.  I’ll never get to let T-Bird, Nancarrow and Ernie know what they meant to me.

Just pick up the phone.  It’s not that tough, and we find time for enough other goofy things.  It’s important!

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