After dinner when we settle back with our guests enjoying a hot coffee or glass of wine and allowing our roast beef and mashed potatoes to find a comfortable spot in our bellies, one of the highlights of the evening is the relaxed banter; conversations which vary from one topic to another. Last evening we seemed to dwell on strange or unexplained things that happened throughout our lifetimes. Some of the stories told were eerie, some totally without explanation and others comedic. I shared a couple of experiences that came to my mind.
Although living in Ennismore, I still write columns for the Windsor Star. In one column I remembered the events of my very first date, a tongue-in-cheek narrative how everything went wrong that could go wrong, such as her leaving on the bus while I remained stranded at the curb. The girl’s name was Doris Fields, a pretty twelve-year-old pre-teen, the same age as me. The day after the column hit the presses, the Editor called me long distance and said a man had contacted him asking for my telephone number. As is custom, the Editor took down his number for me to return the call. Apparently the man was in a cab heading for a funeral home to make arrangements for his mother who had died the day before. He happen to glance down at a newspaper and saw the name Doris Fields in my column; he was curious because his mother’s maiden name was Doris Fields. I had not seen Doris in over sixty years yet the column about our first date was published in the Windsor Star the very day she passed away. I had several warm conversations with the man and his siblings but to this day I am still in confused awe about the timing.
Our oldest son was getting married and I drove our youngest son to Hamilton for the wedding rehearsal just a few days prior to the ceremony. I waved good-bye and, making sure the light was green, I began to cross the street to my car. That is all I remember. I was hit, by a drunk driver no less. Witnesses told police how I went over the front of the car and down the back like a rag doll, but according to doctors that was a good thing because since I did not have a chance to brace myself, my limp body took the blows without breaking any bones. According to my wife, at the very time I was struck by the car in Hamilton, Duke our faithful dog here in Ennismore laid by the front door and refused to move, eat or drink until I came home. Thankfully it was only a few days later I limped through the door on crutches receiving Duke’s welcoming pants and licks. Three hundred kilometers away, how did he know? What senses do dogs possess far beyond our human comprehension? Stranger than fiction indeed.