September 29, 2013

Snapshot Encounters in Rhode Island: September 2013



Hug for Doris



Often in life we encounter and interact with people for a brief moment in time, knowing it is unlikely we will ever see them again.  This is one aspect of traveling that my husband Monte and I have come to enjoy through the years, and what I refer to as snapshot encounters.

We can only hope that those with whom we have these snapshot encounters are as enriched by them as we are.


“No, I won’t vote for you,” I said to the handsome looking gentleman reaching his hand over the table in a handshaking-greeting. “But who are you and what are you running for?”

The man looked startled.

My husband Monte and I were enjoying treats at the Greek festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Cranston, Rhode Island. The man was Ken Block, a mayoral candidate following Gov.  Lincoln Chaffe’s decision not to run for a second term because “a difficult primary was not in the best interest of the citizens of Rhode Island.”

And of course I won’t vote for Ken Block. I live in Pennsylvania, not Rhode Island, and therefore I am not eligible to vote for him. It has nothing to do with his position on any issue. It’s just that I live elsewhere.

During the festival we were fortunate to sit next to Brad and Tricia, a delightful couple with whom we had a lively conversation—when we could hear them. Monte asked Brad if he had ever heard of Les Stuart, who, according to Steve Schroeber was an original member of the Beatles, who practiced at his British home. Brad confirmed Steve’s story (as did our friend Lois in a later phone conversation).

This proved to be an interesting, intelligent couple with whom we might be friends if we lived near them.


One hotel we stay in had “long-term” residents—what I refer to as permanent residents. We met one, Sherry, in the breakfast room. She had worked at a fast food restaurant for 17 years, and had been asked to be manager.

“What, and babysit all those kids?” she said about the majority of the staff. “No way…every little thing that happens they think is a crisis. I would choke them. I wouldn’t want that job babysitting those teeny boppers. They are like bulls in a China shop.”

Once, after she broke her pinky finger, it became swollen. She splinted it, finished out the day, and returned to work the next day with it bandaged up.

At the end of the day she walked to the clinic to have them improve the splint.

The doctor grounded her, to her chagrin.

She reported to me that one young worker who had a tiny spot bruise from grease whined “Oh, my beautiful face.”

Sherry provided a different perspective of life, and provided an assessment of the cultural differences between generations.



We like to stop at diners or local cafes. At one particular diner, while perusing the menu, I noticed a misspelling—sandwhich. The waitress, Sheila, said I was the first to mention it since the menus were new. She excused herself and I watched as she showed the error to a man who was either manager or owner of the cafe. I don’t know what the upshot was, but when she finished her conversation she returned and took our order.

I noticed something interesting about this woman. What I thought originally was two braids was one braid looped and tied at her neck. I asked her how long her hair was and she placed her hands on the back of her knees.

She smiled at us as she did so, pleased someone showed an interest in her.


Therein lies the value of snapshot encounters. A smile, increased understanding, compatibility.



WP Daily Prompt: Brief Encounter with a Stranger—Sexing Clams

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings with People #4

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings With People #3

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