Miles to go in this small, small world…

What is it about the South?  It seems like wherever you travel, you run into folks from “home.”  Maybe we find each other because our accents stand out or because we aren’t afraid to talk to strangers, even though our mothers told us not to.

On a trip to Europe a few years ago, my friend Kim Este’ literally ran into the dad of one of our friend’s from Mississippi at the VATICAN!  We were standing in line to get something to eat and Kim bumped into him – had to apologize – and then realized who he was!  What are the chances of bumping into someone from home at the Vatican?

Same trip…also at the Vatican…we hear the laughter of young girls and look up to see a group from Clarksdale, Mississippi, the hometown of my friend Susan.   We spent at least 30 minutes talking to these girls about who their mamas were, what sorority they had pledged, and all those questions we ask each other in the South.

As we were leaving Rome a day or two later, we ran into a group from LSU!  While the Tigers from LSU are great rivals back home, seeing an LSU t-shirt in Rome breaks down all SEC barriers and we were immediately friends.  Also on that trip, on the subway in London, a young boy from Alabama overheard us talking about Mississippi and asked if we listed to Paul Ott on the radio.  He was a big fan of Listen to the Eagle back in the states.  Paul Ott is the uncle of my friend Kim.  Small world indeed.

As my husband and I have made Arkansas our home, I’ve realized just how small a world this really is.  Mississippi feels like a long way away, but I’ve been amazed at how many friends we have here who have connections to that state.  All of them know people we know and all of them seem to understand we have a unique bond, just by virtue of where we are from.  What is it about the South that makes us that way?  I’m thankful for it, whatever it is; that thing that makes us all kinfolk in this small, small world.


About ckeirn

This is an account of my life’s journey – road trips, places in my heart, people and things I love.
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3 Responses to Miles to go in this small, small world…

  1. Janet Taber says:

    Could it be that Southerners are just so darned friendly??? When you have this huge circle of friends, it spreads sort of exponentially, and the odds grow and grow that you’ll always be able to find a friend, no matter where you land.


  2. ckeirn says:

    A post on Facebook from my friend Kim – the Kim in the story: Every time you post a new blog entry, and I read the “teaser” on facebook, I feel like I won’t be able to fully appreciate it at that time, so I make plans to read it when I can relax and be more mindful of your beautiful words. Well, you k…now what they say about the best laid plans . . . In other words, I am going to have to take time during the holidays to sit down and read your entire blog from start to finish. I don’t want to just do it to do it. I want to really be able to really READ it. However, when I saw this one, I did take a minute to go over and read it, and I loved it. It’s so true! I’m glad that you didn’t put the real story, but I tell it often.

    A “rude American” tried to break in line in front of me at the cafe in Vatican City. I was so tired of people being pushy, and we had just gotten a talk from our leader about how we have to elbow our way around in Italy, so I basically told him that I had been there first, and that it was my turn — something that I would never have done at home. He let me go first, and I left the cafe with my sandwich, feeling a little embarrassed that I had done that.

    We then walked around the corner, and there stood that man with Tommy Allen!!! I have never been so humiliated in my life. After Tommy and Mary Emma introduced me to the man and his wife, I told them all the story, and the rest of the group thought it was quite funny. It turned out that he was the director of the Lincoln County Farm Bureau. A couple of years later, I went to work in Brookhaven directly across the street from the Farm Bureau office. I always waved and laughed when I saw him, and I guarantee that if we are ever in another queue together, he definitely gets to go first.


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