I got up early and started hiking with the thought of a _real_ breakfast in Big Bear. I cranked out six miles in record time!
My memories of Big Bear are of a forested area in the middle of mountains above San Bernadino. I learned today that Big Bear is just one tidge away from a stop drop down into the dessert near Yucca and Landers, so I was surprised to see Joshua Trees
Ok, dear reader, I need you to sit down because this next bit is just too much to take standing up — it certainly was for me…
Within 5 minutes and about as many cars, a solo woman drove by, saw me and pulled over to give me a ride. We started chatting and she asked me where I was from. “Los Gatos, near San Jose, but I grew up in Costa Mesa”, I said.
“Oh, I grew up in Newport Beach, small world!” She said, “Where did you go to school — I went to Newport Harbor High.”
“Wow” I replied, “I went to Estancia High but I know a lot of people that went to NHH because of the St James Eppiscopal Youth Group I was in.”
She looked hard at me and said “What is your name? I’m Suki”
“Not Suki ______?” I asked (last name redacted at her request).
“Yes, I am”…..
Whoa… we both started tearing up (as I am now as I write this).
One summer when I was about 16 I helped with activities for the Jr Youth Goup. I still remember only two of those great kids and Suki was one because of her happy, fun loving spirit. I have not seen Suki in all these years but she is the only Suki I ever knew and I periodically have wondered what’s become of her. I am blown away by this meeting! What are the odds?
I’m now wearing my rain clothes sitting in the laundromat waiting to check in to the local Motel 6.
Side note: Gregg Gatewood, if you are reading, your little sister, Cari(?) is the other great kid I recall.
I may post more later…. my head is spinning.
Thanks for reading.