One of those happenstance things, with no essential reason for happening . . . a friend of a friend kind of thing, you know, that might just as easily have whizzed right by me, or failed to come my way in the first place.
I have this longtime friend, Marci, living in the hills north of Santa Cruz -- someone I well recall, but whom I'm irregularly in touch with, as it's been decades since I lived anywhere nearby . . .
And she has a friend who happens to be the recent author of a somewhat autobiographical work: Allegro, a tale of how she re-structured her life from its 'disjointed youth', which essentially began with her 'banishment' from the West Coast to one of those so-called 'relocation camps' set up for West Coast Japanese Americans, whose American citizenship was dishonored when they were relocated 'by official decree', supposedly for the good of all concerned.
War tangles people's lives . . . it did then, and it does now. For all of our 'civilized processes' and hi-tech tools, people's lives still get torn apart. Circumstances will change, but the crunch of displacement can be relied on to leave victims in its wake.
But . . . Back to my amazing tale...
I was sending my Spring Book -- my personal ode to that first 21 years of our lives -- to that original longtime friend, Marci, when she spoke about this friend of hers, Helene, who wrote the book Allegro. Marci said that Helene wanted to send me a copy of the book. She gave no indication as to why, other than it being her own story. So I thought of it as a trade (of personal tales), and figured "why not?" And I included the extra Spring Book in my mailing to Marci, since the Allegro book was already on its way. I had no other advance notice as to what the Allegro book was all about.
So I was taken completely by surprise when it arrived, in the discovery of its actual nature.
The next discoveries followed quickly: Helene Honda (Allegro's author) was a pen name. She was a Japanese American of somewhere near my own vintage, and she had lived in San Francisco when that war began . . . and (surprise of surprises) within walking distance of where I'd been living, at the time, myself!
I've thus become acquainted with a woman I might well have known -- certainly must have crossed paths with -- during those early years of my life. As it happens, she is two years older than me, and she remembers that district better than I do! An absolute gift to me, 'Helene' is, and one with whom I am looking forward, now, to an ongoing exchange . . . with great anticipation.
That wonders may never cease!