Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Instead of Pickle Ball, How About a Game of Six Degrees of Separation?

My weekly pickle ball game Tuesday turned into a series of six degrees of separation moments with three new players.

Signing in to the recreation facility, I noticed the gentleman before me was named David Weil. Nothing special about that except David Weil, a different David Weil, was one of the Chicago advertising salesmen on Chain Store Age 40 years ago. 

This David Weil in no way resembled my former colleague. But the coincidence set the pattern for the rest of the morning. 

Between games I found out that Bill was a practicing magician. He’s familiar with a friend who’s also an entertainer, Steve Max of Simon Sez fame (Steve, whose real name is Steve Harelick, once balanced on his chin my then seven- or eight-year-old daughter Ellie while she was sitting on a chair during a summer performance at Camp Laurelwood). 

Bill said he has family in White Plains, his brother, Andy Herz. Another acquaintance of mine. One of Andy’s stepdaughters, Rachel Koss, was in Ellie’s Solomon Schechter elementary school class.

The trio of connections continued with Norm. A first time player, Norm is a retired apparel manufacturer who sold to mass merchandisers. His major client was Walmart. 

Bingo. Once I informed him I was a retired editor and publisher of Chain Store Age and intimately familiar with most of his customers and especially Walmart and founder Sam Walton, we had difficulty ending our reminiscences in favor of playing pickle ball.

Overall, the dozen pickle ballers Tuesday morning played highly competitive games, but the personal connections made today special.