Small world?

I was walking through LA’s Union Station after a Metrolink ride on Friday night when I saw, walking in the same direction, a familiar face, a fellow I know who grew up in Pomona and lives in LA. We hadn’t seen each other in months and stopped to chat.

On Sunday morning, I was back at Union Station after disembarking from another Metrolink trip when a fellow I know from Rancho Cucamonga came up and said hello.

What are the odds? It’s extremely rare I bump into anyone I know when in L.A., and here it happened two straight visits. What always strikes me about such random encounters is that a few seconds one way or the other and I wouldn’t have seen either of them. Another imponderable: How many people have I missed by moments?

My colleague Diana Sholley had a story that relies on timing. On vacation in Italy a few years ago, the Uplander was touring the Colosseum when she ran into the family that owns San Biagio’s Pizza in Upland. How crazy is that?

The worst random-encounter story I have, and thankfully this is second-hand rather than one I had to live through, involved a former editor of mine in Northern California. He was at O’Hare Airport when he was hailed by a local pest from back home, a guy who used to come into the newsroom frequently and waste his time. There in Chicago, with time to kill before his connecting flight, nowhere to run, he had to listen to the guy for an hour.

OK, your turn. Have you ever been far from home and run into someone you knew?

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