Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Magic of a Traveling First Republic Crown

Prague - In the late autumn of 1989, I was visiting the Saturday Market in Portland, Oregon, where I saw a 1921 Czechoslovak Crown from the First Republic that had been scrimshawed by a sailor and made into a pendant. Since the Velvet Revolution had just happened I decided to buy it. A couple of years later, in October 1992, I made my first trip to the then Czechoslovakia as an attendee at Esther Dyson's East-West High Tech Forum conference, and I took the pendant with me to Prague. Later, back home in Seattle, I accidentally left the pendant at a friend's house, but she returned it to my friend Jennifer, with whom I had been visiting her, to send to me in Prague, where I had moved in the spring of 1993. I asked Jennifer instead to give it to my friend Tom, who she didn't know, since he was coming to visit me in Prague later that year. When Tom returned the pendant to me he thanked me for introducing him to Jennifer, a fellow artist, and we joked about how the pendant bounced around the planet and brought people together. In this same spirit I suggested that he take the pendant back to Seattle and give it to my friend Jim, who I thought he would also enjoy meeting. About a year later in 1995, I made an infrequent trip back to Seattle at Christmastime and I was sitting in my favorite neighborhood tavern, The Two Bells, when my friend Jennifer walked in, which was a surprise, since she didn't know I would be there and she lived on the other side of the state. We were talking about the pendant when Tom walked in, which was even more of a surprise since he had recently moved to Detroit and just happened to make a trip back to Seattle for the holidays. The three of us walked to another local tavern, the Five Point, and we were sitting in a back booth when in walked Jim, who just happened to be passing by and spotted me from the door. My other two friends were sitting with their backs to him and Jim came towards me holding out the pendant, saying "This thing is really magic", when of course he saw Tom, who he now knew, and Jennifer who he didn't. So I introduced Jim to Jennifer, thus closing a circle that started with the globe-trotting Czechoslovak Crown back in 1989. I wonder where it is now.

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Dawn-Ann said...

What an incredible round of little coincidences. When things like this happen you just have to stand back and marvel at the workings of the universe - are they really just a string of chance happenings? Or is there some kind of design to it? Intriguing.

ZenGirlie said...

That's just an amazing story!

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