They were on break, too, so I stepped in to chat with their teacher, a cheerful, older guy. The class was part of a graduate program for career and tech school administrators. Well, I told him I'd heard him saying "FFA" and that I'd seen the blue jackets in the slide show. And then I said, "It caught my eye because I was the 1971 FFA Queen in my high school." He was delighted! He laughed and asked my name, and where I'd gone to high school. I told him Wyoming, and then he looked at me and said, "Really, which school?"
Well, here's where the ridiculous part starts. When I told him, he looked at me like it was just the most normal thing in the world and said, "Oh, I lived in Pinedale and was the area supervisor. Our group included your school, Lyman, Jackson..." and he went on to name the surrounding communities. Then, he looked at me and said, "Do you remember Gale Haderlie?" He was the teacher and FFA advisor at our high school. Hmmm....yes, he's my mother's first cousin. He slapped his leg and laughed. Then he talked with fond memories of what a great leader Mr. Haderlie was and how thoughtful to the boys and so kind-hearted. Get out of here!! He knew (and remembered his name from forty years ago!!) my mom's cousin!!
So, we chatted a minute more and he asked me to stay for a bit, while his students came back into the room. He called for their attention, and then introduced me as his "special guest." "Remember those pictures of the FFA? Well, here's [EarthSignMama] who was chosen queen of the FFA for her high school in Wyoming." They all laughed and cheered and I took a bow. He asked me what my farming connection had been. I replied that I milked cows and hauled hay and fed chickens. He certified me as the Real Thing, and I bid them all adieu and returned to my class on Action Research for the Classroom Teacher.
It was just ridiculous. Our children often shake their heads in amazement because where ever we've lived, inevitably, there was always someone with a connection back to our small, small valley in Wyoming. They ask, "Almost no one lives there! How can the entire world know someone, or have dated someone, or have had their cousin marry someone, or ....whatever! from there??!?" I don't know. But it happened again tonight in Las Vegas, and I never cease to be amazed.