Small World

Newport is a small town. You expect to meet people you know everywhere. Driving into town yesterday, I passed a friend from church choir. At the grocery store, I ran into the woman who lives in the house behind mine. I also saw the crazy guy who walks up and down Highway 101 muttering to himself. A woman I met in the vegetable aisle looked so familiar. At a concert on Sunday at the Newport Performing Arts Center, I felt as if I knew everyone on stage and off from singing, writing, church or all three.

But when my wonky back flared up and I went to a new chiropractor last week, I found the most amazing connection. It wasn’t so weird that his assistant, Joe, used to live in my old neighborhood in California. That happens all the time. But Dr. Paul Schones used to live in my house. That’s right. My house. He spent the first nine years of his life in the house where I live now in South Beach. He started drawing on my X-ray envelope. This was the kitchen, this was the living room, this was my room . . . He did not know about the den that was added later, but otherwise he remembered it exactly as it was–and is. I only knew about the family who lived here just before us, the Fends. I had no idea the Schones were here before them.

And you know that neighbor in the grocery store? That’s his aunt.