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Another Perspective

Small World

I went with my wife yesterday to a local retirement home to visit two of her paintings she’d hung on one of the walls just outside the dining area. We took an elevator marked #1 to the second floor, took a sharp right and began our walk through one of the many cavernous hallways. I was struck by how everything here was built straight and at 45- and 90-degree angles. There are no soft curves to be found: just hard, sturdy straight lines.

Our journey brought us to another elevator whose number I failed to notice because standing in front of it was an elderly man, perhaps 5 feet 6 inches tall, with lots of gray hair - or was it white? – wearing a recently purchased University of Minnesota sweatshirt, its gold lettering ablaze its maroon canvas, looking every bit the part of a 94 year-old college student. Since some of my ancestors lived in St. Paul and some of them taught eye surgery in the medical school at the University, I immediately felt a kinship with him. I was formulating an opening comment when an unseen woman’s voice called out, “Fletcher” and he turned his attention to her.

My wife had moved on down the hallway toward the destination that only she knew, so I needed to catch up. But I knew this man: he’s Dr. Fletcher Miller, the man whose modest home I’d purchased last year. We’d never met, doing all the paperwork through realtors and a trust company, yet I knew that was he standing there waiting for the elevator; the Dr. Miller who is a gourmet cook whose kitchen I use now to make ham sandwiches, the Dr. Miller who each spring leaves San Diego to teach heart surgery in the medical school at the University of Minnesota.
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