Dinner with strangers proves the world is a small place

Published 8:14 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

If you have ever eaten at Giovanni’s in Winchester on a Friday evening, you learn you may have to wait to be seated because of the crowd that arrived ahead of you. This past Friday evening was no exception. We had to wait a little longer than normal because of the full house, so to speak.

Being someone who never meets a stranger, I decided to talk to the ones in front of us and the ones behind us. My husband had joined in the conversations and it did help time to go a little faster.

Having lived in Winchester all but five years of my life, I know nearly every face in Winchester, or can tell you whether they are lifetime residents or new to our community.

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I seemed to be intrigued with the couple behind us who had a Chinese girl beside them. I could not help but think of my niece who has adopted three Chinese daughters. I asked the lady if she was adopted and she told me she was adopted she was 15 months old. We learned that they were from Somerset, but were on their way to Morehead for the weekend. They had eaten at Giovanni’s before.

It was about that time Aubrey Crump, owner of Giovanni’s, came over and doing his best to alleviate our wait, asked us if we would be OK to share a table for eight with someone else.  Tired of standing, we said, “No problem!” He asked the couple we had been talking with if they would like to join us and they said yes.

After we were seated, our conversation continued. We learned it took two years from the day they first applied and were approved for adoption, before they were able to bring their daughter home.

Her mom said she laughingly tells people she had the gestation period of an elephant to get her baby. She told of the time she worked at Buffalo Trace Distillery and she could see where she lived out the window. She was expecting to hear the news her baby was ready any day. When she saw the FedEx man stopping to deliver a package at her house one day, she ran out, telling her workers she would be back soon. When she got the package from the FedEx guy, she ecstatically told him he had just delivered her baby.

Her co-workers, aware she was awaiting the news, were as excited as she was. When she returned, about 20 people bombarded her asking if she had gotten the news and they, too, were ecstatic when she told them yes.

They had five names picked out for their daughter but settled on the name Josephine Elizabeth, after her two grandmothers. She is called Josie.

I said her name seemed to fit her and they agreed. It was the only name that kept returning to them, they said.

Drawing Josie into the conversation, I asked Josie she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she wanted to be a biologist. When my husband asked her if she would be going to Morehead to school, where her parents said they both had graduated from and they said her dad was on the Alum board at Morehead. Both her parents said they wished she would, but her plans were of going somewhere else.

Josie is a beautiful, but shy young lady. She said she wanted to go to Florida or to Massachusetts Technical Institute. I have a feeling she will do great things some day wherever she goes.

I was shocked to learn she was only 12 years old.

We were told they were going to spend the weekend in a cabin at Cave Run Lake, see some of the MSU basketball games, do some trail walking and just relax.

As we were finishing up our meal, somehow our conversation turned to Angela telling us she now works in the tourism department and she knew a lady from here that works in tourism.

I said, “Nancy Turner.” She said they had gotten very close through going to meetings. Her husband, Brett, said, that dog I have in the car I bred to one of Fielding’s dogs. He had become a close friend of Fielding’s. I could not help but tell her that Nancy and my daughter, Shanda, have been close friends for years.

I immediately thought of that saying about six degrees of separation. It is the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.

I remembered my brother, Raymond, sitting at a bar in Japan and the conversation with the guy next to him. The guy asked him where he was from and he told him a little place he would never know even if he told him. The man said, “Try me,” and my brother told him Kiddville, Kentucky.

The man told him he would not believe it, but his grandparents were from there. Unbelievable, but true!

Before Angela, Brett and Josie left, I got their permission to write this column about them. They said they would be glad for me to do so and I promised them I would send them a copy.

So, if you are ever asked to share a table with someone, do not shy away from it. If you do, you just might enjoy the evening more than you realize.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.