Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's a Small World, Kindergarten Division

Continuing the theme of stories of odd coincidences from my life, here's a short one in which I played an important, though passive, role.

My Kindergarten teacher in Cleveland Heights was Mrs. Sugimoto. I suppose she had a first name, but it didn't really occur to me as a five-year-old to ask such a thing, certainly not of Mrs. Sugimoto. She was Japanese, and during the summer a year or two after I was in her class she traveled back to Japan for a visit. On the way, she spent a few days in Honolulu.

My aunt and her family were living in Hawaii at that time, and it happened that her mother, my grandmother, was out there for a visit (although her home was in Cleveland). One day she went to a restaurant at one of the hotels on Waikiki Beach (we could pretend that it was the Royal Hawaiian, but it doesn't really matter). It was busy, so she agreed to share a table with another single woman. They got to chatting, and were surprised to find out that they were both from Cleveland. Furthermore, they were both teachers. When my grandmother heard that the other woman (who was, of course, Mrs. Sugimoto) taught Kindergarten in Cleveland Heights, she asked whether she knew me, and was astounded to learn that she had just sat down with her grandson's teacher, 4500 miles from home!

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