Five years ago I was caught staring at someone, and helped my wife get through a very painful experience.  How’s that for an opening sentence?

One of my families favorite places to eat is “Seabeck Pizza”, they have great pizza, a good beer selection, and huge buffalo wings.  One night as we were eating pizza I saw a man with a Cowboy Joe hat on.  As anyone from Wyoming knows, no one wears Cowboy Joe gear unless they either went to the University of Wyoming or are from Wyoming.  My family actually puts Cowboy Joe stickers on the back of all of our vehicles so that people know where we are from.  The longer that I live outside of Wyoming the more I assume that if I see that logo I will probably know the person or know someone they know.  So I will usually approach the person to ask them if they are from Wyoming.  As I was working the other day I encountered a person with a Cowboy Joe shirt on and they told me that they were from Newcastle.  Small world.

Back to the pizza place.  The person with the hat started to realize that I had been staring at him.  Not only did he have the hat on, but I thought I recognized him.  Finally I went up to ask him if he was from Wyoming and he said “Hey Bart”.

Mind blown.

It had been about 20 years since I had seen Jack so I did not recognize him, but I graduated the year after him in Douglas.  Then he promptly told me I should go say hi to his wife who was in the parking lot because I knew her as well, and had graduated with her.  So I went out to say hi to Jacey, who was a little worried that a strange man was approaching her in the parking lot as she was talking on the phone.  When I told her who I was she was as equally shocked as I was that I had ran into them.

20 years and 1000 miles.

Fast forward a couple years and my wife is getting ready for a procedure on her leg and who should show up in the pre-op but Jacey who had switched with someone to be the attending nurse in Suzie’s procedure.  We had no idea she was going to be there.  So Jacey sat through the entire procedure with Suzie and she put country music on because, as she said to the doctor, “Us Wyoming girls look out for each other” (at least I think that is what she said).  So the title of the blog was my reach back into the annals of country music to “I’ve got Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks.

As if this story was not interesting enough (in my opinion), during the pre-op time Jacey showed us a video on her phone of the huge cedar trees that they were cutting down in their front yard.  They had a friend that had come over to bring them down and it was not just a tree falling, it was an event at their house.

Last year Jack texted me to ask if I wanted the milled up cedar in their garage because sadly they were moving out of the area and did not have a place to store it.  I gladly came over and took the cedar off their hands after scorning them for moving.  Those cedar boards were the boards that I used to make my first Adirondack Chair.  Every time I work on those chairs I think about that chance meeting in Seabeck Pizza and how my wife had a friend show up at just the right time to help her through a tough experience.


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