Friendship American

         Mike Wynan made the trip to Long Island for his sister’s

wedding in the autumn of 1979.

Mike Wynan was now about to board the first of three planes

for his return trip home to El Paso. He thought about many things

during his uneventful flight.

Mike Wynan thought how he and many others were fooled by

fate. Being just two years older than his sister, Kathy Wynan,

enabled both brother and sister to share a large group of mutual

friends. Tommy Jarvis dated Kathy Wynan for a number of years

and it had generally been assumed that they would one day marry.

         Except, at the wedding ceremony, Kathy Wynan married John!

         Mike Wynan thought about how he planned to make a call to

Kathy Jarvis, a close friend who only just last year had moved to

Denver on her own. Mike Wynan was never able  to reach her with

a telephone call to invite her to lunch in Denver. Once in Long

Island for the wedding, each time he had attempted to contact

Kathy Jarvis there still was no answer. It was at this point he

realized that he deserved a kick in the head for his procrastination.

         Mike Wynan thought about how his blunder would become a

needless cause to arrive in El Paso late in the evening with his

workday looming just a few hours later.

Rather than a direct flight from Chicago to El Paso, Mike

Wynan had arranged for an intermediate stop in Denver which

carried with it a four-hour layover. Then the third plane would

take him home on the last flight of the day between Denver and

El Paso.

Mike Wynan was hoping that Kathy Jarvis would be able to

meet him at the Denver airport for dinner during the layover.

Mike Wynan had met with old friends and had learned many

new things during his visit. For example, one should never plan a

wedding reception during the latter half of October. The men will

spend a considerable amount of time at the television watching the

World Series.  

Mike Wynan thought about his dinner plan with Kathy Jarvis

in Denver that was simply not meant to be.

Mike would try calling for one last time while at the Chicago


Ring, ring, ring and still no answer.

So unfair. Curse procrastination!

A bit of turbulence occurred over Lake Michigan.

Much like life, flights could get a bit bumpy. You might look

like hell getting off the plane, but you at least made it!  

Mike had made it, but nonetheless was disappointed. He read

all the nearby advertisements three times, enjoyed a cocktail at the

bar, and stared at the roster of incoming and outgoing planes. The

plane that normally would have whisked him off was about to land

in El Paso shortly.

There was a boarding announcement for the Denver flight. It

was to be delayed by thirty minutes.

“May I have one more, please? Mike requested of the

bartender. “Just found out that I’ll be parked here for a few more


“That plane gets delayed often, usually about thirty minutes.

It’s due to the United plane coming from Spokane. The Texas plane

is delayed when they have passengers going to your destination. I

think it’s going to Texas,” the bartender explained.

“El Paso,” Mike responded with confirmation.

The announcement to commence with boarding United Flight

#168 could be heard as they finished their chat. Mike waved as he

departed for his flight. He stood at the end of the line with ticket in

hand. It actually was just a short delay. He turned around to look

for a clock to check the minutes and his eyes almost popped out of

his head with surprise!

Standing close behind him on the line was Kathy. Kathy Jarvis!

“What the hell?” Mike said to no one person.

“Kathy, Kathy,” he yelled and waved.

Two big smiles were happening both behind and in front of

the woman between them.

“Please step ahead of me,” he invited her.

A big hug and fast hellos provided the entertainment for the

passengers waiting to board.

“What a coincidence to meet someone you know when getting

on a plane!” one woman remarked.

But she only knew the half of it.

Their ticketed seats were close together and Mike arranged a

seat-swap so he could sit next to Kathy on their way to Denver.

They each left northern New York state about a year ago

seeking new adventures.

They both just now fell into one.

It was to turn out to be a life-long adventure.

The flight to Denver was like a magical meeting. They laughed

and remembered, then remembered and laughed.

“Where were you visiting?” Mike asked.

“I was visiting my Grandma in Seattle” Kathy replied.

The layover in Denver afforded time for a nice dinner and very

abbreviated tour of the city.

The years ahead would be filled with alternating visits back

and forth between Denver and El Paso. As they were both winter

sports-driven and experienced, it was to be the point that would

make for a crucial decision. When Mike popped the question, the

big question, Denver would become the location of the long-term

new adventure that they each had been seeking.

They both had to meet on the other side of the Mississippi

River for them to connect!

Kathy delivered Mike back to the Denver Airport for his flight

to El Paso.

During the flight, Mike thought about a few things.

He thought about the incredible meet-up. What a great time!

He thought about the future.

He thought that if he and Kathy were to ever get married, her

name would become that of his sister’s.

If Kathy Wynan had married Tommy Jarvis, she would have

taken on the name of Mike’s new girlfriend.

After many years, Kathy and John divorced. Kathy reinstated

her maiden name.

So also did Tommy and his wife. She retained her maiden

name, allowing for more confusion to be born.

Tommy would reignite the flame that had once existed. He

decided to move to El Paso.

Within a short time, Kathy Wynan and Tommy Jarvis married.

Kathy Wynan now became Kathy Jarvis.

Both sisters-in-law essentially had swapped names! Kathy

Wynan Jarvis and Kathy Jarvis Wynan knew each other easily

enough, but not so simple for them as each lived out their future


All this by chance?

Who, or what, was moving the chess pieces in this game?

Fate might have played with Mike, but it hadn’t fooled him!

There was just simply an unexpected time delay that had not been


For many of you men, well, you already know. But for those of

you that don’t, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the pennant defeating

the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh game.

It was Pittsburgh’s fifth pennant!

July 23, 2021 19:41

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