That wasn't that much of a surprise, he'd Goggled my fairly unusual name, and sent me email, so we arranged a meeting.
But what happened Friday was pretty amazing.
As you may know, I did a two week trip on the movie replica BOUNTY in July. I was totally accepted by the crew, and since there was some interest in amateur radio and email while at sea, I said I'd help them out for their upcoming bluewater passages.
So, I put together an entire system, and took it down to San Diego last week to install it and teach the people on board how to use it. The captain had, in the meantime, gotten the applicable amateur radio license (and there's more on that, too, but that'll wait until it happens).
We actually visited the ham radio group at the San Diego Yacht Club, sometimes holder of the America's Cup.
Friday, I came back to the boat and saw a couple chatting with some of the crew, joined them, only to have the woman ask my name. I said "Doug", she said "Faunt", I said "how...???".
It turns out she was Rann, who I'd known back in SC when I left in 1975, and had actually left her in residence in the family home (which I still own). She got along well with my grandmother who lived next door, so she helped all of us out, and lived in the house for 10 years. She'd ended up in Malibu, working as a very successful designer (think Skittles package), and eventually married a scientist at Hughes Research, who was also a sailor.
They live the yacht club life, and Rann was the liason for BOUNTY when the ship was at Oxnard, so when she was in San Diego she came to visit the ship. And she recognized me.
We had dinner that evening at the SDYC, and Rann was telling stories about MY grandmother to the officers. In fact, Rebecca told me that she'd told the same stories when they were in Oxnard, but of course, they had no idea that it was my grandmother who was the subject.
The ship departs tomorrow for the Galapagos, the trip to Hawaii having been cancelled due to a mass cancellation of passengers. I'd been hoping that I'd feel like traveling again after the Hawaii trip and I could do the Galapagos and Canal trip comfortably.
But I think I'm going to go back and visit SC, since the universe is pushing my past in my face.
Side note, I've now leased the hunting rights on my rural property to the William Gilmore Simms Literary Society, and found that there's a video about the slave and ex-slave communities on the entire Woodlands Plantation (I own what was a fifth of the plantation in 1952). It also includes a few hundred yards of what was the longest railway in the world (about 1833).