The quirkiness of life


About, oh, seven years ago, our across-the-street neighbors moved from their house in New Rochelle, N.Y. to San Diego, It was an interesting family of four—two brothers, a best friend and a woman named Carmen. My wife used to call them, “Three men and a little lady.” They  could not have been more lovely, and we were sad to see them depart.

Anyhow, it was a weird relocation, in that they left most everything behind. About two weeks after the foursome bolted, a huge sale was held inside the house. We were away for most of it, but rummaged through the remains on the final day. We bought a big drum and a painting. While peeking here and there, I came across a rolled-up thing of paper. I removed the rubber band and uncovered what turned out to be (oddly, randomly, inexplicably) an autographed poster of a professional lacrosse player named Mark Millon.

Our son Emmett was 2 or 3 at the time, and I thought the poster would be a cool addition to his wall. So I asked the woman who ran the sale how much the treasured print was selling for. “Ah,” she said, “just take it.”

We did—and Mark Millon has graced Emmett’s walls for years. First in New York, now in California.

Anyhow, about two years ago I did a Quaz Q&A with Mark, primarily because of the poster. I mean, I had no idea who he was until that day in the neighbors’ largely abandoned house. He was terrific and cool and agreeable, and I was happy such an upstanding guy was a part of Emmett’s world.

A few weeks ago Jonathan Powell, one of my closest friends dating back to childhood, asked if I knew Mark Millon. I said I did—and he wondered if I could possibly make an introduction. Powell is involved in the Maryland younth lacrosse scene, his kids play, he wanted some advice. So I reached out to Mark, gave him Powell’s number … and they had breakfast.

All because my neighbors moved to San Diego.