Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Chance Encounters

In earlier posts, I commented about how chance encounters have affected my life and the lives of others. I had two random encounters earlier in the week that I'd like to think may influence their actions in a positive way. On Friday, I was flying back from the east coast after conducting a couple of interviews. When I went through security at Newark airport, my camera bag was selected for additional screening. This did not surprise me because it often happens if I forget to remove the shotgun microphone and place it in the bin. For obvious reasons, its shape often is something the screener wants to check out a little more closely. But this time, I had removed both it and the video camera and had them already in a bin. The agent seemed intent on finding something in particular because she was rummaging through the bag rather intently. I asked her if there was a problem and she commented that the x-ray revealed several 9-volt batteries. I explained to her that I used them for both my lapel microphones as well as my wireless ones. She then started glancing over some papers that I also had in the bag including brochures about my company. I then explained that I created video biographies for families. She then remarked that she bet I had heard a lot of interesting stories and I agreed and shared a short one I had just heard in my last interview--with no names of course to protect my client's privacy. She then asked me if she could keep one of the brochures because she thought it would be a great idea to have her mother interviewed.

The next random encounter was with a woman who sat next to me on the plane. An hour into the flight, I had my laptop open and was editing an interview and when I took a break she remarked that she had been peeking at what I was doing and was curious. After I explained to her what I did, she became very animated because she was coordinating a party in honor of her father-in-law who was turning 100 in November and thought this would be the perfect gift to him from his family. After a few minutes of conversation, she revealed that her mother-in-law was also still living and was 98! The little bit of background she gave me made me aware that their interviews would be historic as well as very interesting. We shared contact information and her last remark to me as I departed from the plane was that she was so glad she had sat next to me because she had never heard of a service like this and considering the age of her in-laws, it was time to seize the day.

So two chance encounters will hopefully generate the saving of family stories that would otherwise have eventually faded away and I LOVE THAT!

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