This past Sunday seemed pretty typical at the start. Slept a little late, enjoyed some fresh coffee, and as I headed out the door it was cloudy and the leaves were vibrant with the changing of the season…the sun trying to find a place to come out. Wendy and I had plans to meet up at a friend’s house to watch the Premiere League soccer game between Manchester United and Liverpool.
I was driving to pick her up at her home as I approached an intersection I frequent quite often. The SUV in front of me awaited it’s right turn opportunity onto Hwy 51. The cars to my left idled for their signal to turn. I sat, soaking in the morning, looking at the movements around me, and listening to the radio. I often set the dial to “scan” so I can pick up quick bits of content. For some reason I remember the dial landing on Al Sharpton’s talk show and thinking to myself, “get to the point already”.
I noticed the SUV in front of me moving and caught the green traffic arrow in my view, so away we all went; the cars to the left moved forward through their route and I followed mine. Suddenly, in a surreal scene that seemed slow motion, my airbags exploded out of the steering wheel and dashboard, accompanied by the surround sounds of metal and plastic chaos. The last thing I saw before the scene stopped was my windshield cracking in the upper right.
Come to find out, apparently there was an erratic, oncoming vehicle changing lanes into the new lane of travel, and it was imperative the SUV stop. Timing is everything isn’t it?
The SUV I hit pulled down to the next parking lot to get out of the way of pending traffic, while I gathered my senses and got out to assess what had happened. I grabbed my phone and walked to meet the driver. The gentleman met me about halfway while I was making calls to 911 and Wendy to tell them what had occured. I asked him if everyone was alright and his assurance stood out because of his English accent. “Where are you from”, I asked. He said, “England”. “Funny I should run into you this morning, I’m on my way to watch Manchester United play”, I quipped. He said, “We’re on our way to watch Liverpool.”
We both continued our walk to his vehicle and as we got closer I saw his passenger, a smiling blonde woman…and she was laughing! I quickly saw why. We knew each other. Out of the 1.6 million people in Charlotte, timing paired me up with Beth Griffiths.
I’ve known Beth for awhile now. We originally met back in the late 80’s when I was producing a successful morning radio show on EZ104 here in Charlotte and she was heading up the Marketing efforts at the old Midtown Square Mall that was near uptown. Over the years we lost touch with each other as our lives ran course, but this past year we reconnected thanks to the Social Media explosion taking place and our pursuit of it as Marketing Professionals.
Beth and I have had conversations periodically via twitter and occasionally have shared company at “tweetups” to network and talk about business and Social Media. Even Wendy has become friends with her through twitter where they’ve exchanged friendly barbs, factoids and laughs about upcoming footy games.
The Matthews Police Officer had to be wondering why we were so jovial compared to some of the other fender benders he’s written up. Wendy, Beth, her husband Pete and I stood around talking about what we’d seen and how we’d hoped the officer would be quick so we could cheer our teams to victory. I told Pete about how we used tweetgrid to talk to fans inside the stadiums over in England. He told me about FlashScores.com to get up-to-the-minute scores during the games.
Small world. An ol’ friend, both of us in the Advertising/Marketing business, reconnected through Social Media and the love of a sport…and now, a Fall Sunday morning mishap. I’m hopeful after we both get our claims, cars and sore muscles adjusted we’ll meet up over a pint or two and watch “the beautiful game” together. Just seems like the thing to do now.