April 13, 2021 I was heading back to Maryland today, to my other home, for about 3 weeks – and I was packing some things to take and cleaning up for an extended absence. Making sure there was nothing in the refrigerator that would become a science experiment…. getting the recycling together, and bundling up the trash. My plan was to stop by the transfer station on my way out of Dodge…. Things taking their own sweet time, I didn’t lock up and leave until about 8:30 AM – very late by “Bob standards”! 🙂
Only a few miles away from our home, the Transfer Station is near the “heart” of Lee – the Elementary School, Public Library and Town Offices, and just down the road from “Lee Five Corners” which is the 1770’s original and defining intersection of the town, literally five roads that come together. With only just over 5,000 residents, it is a small town. But with a pretty impressive trash and recycling center! I was in the “outer” of the two lanes through the big metal building, and looked over to see a black Porsche Cayenne parked a little behind me in the other lane. My first thought was, as usual, I wonder if those people are in the Porsche Club? As I was grabbing my trash from the hatch, I heard a voice shout, “NO WAY”. Turning, I saw a guy next to the Cayenne… he was coming at me, and I was startled, and then…. “OMG!!!!!! JJ???”
I couldn’t believe it! Here was John “JJ” Dunkle, a former 7th grade student of mine at Portsmouth Junior High! Not only that, his dad John is a serious Porsche bud of mine from WAY back in the day! JJ abandoned his Cayenne in the line and we ran over to each other and met in the middle – and hugged (he said, “I’m wearing a mask, I don’t care, I’m hugging you” lol). Turns out, he lives in Lee, and was dropping the garbage off, after dropping his daughter off at the elementary school. Small world! He couldn’t believe we bought a house in Lee and I couldn’t believe he was, what, 35, 37? – wait, how did that happen? He was like 12 when I met him. 🙂 (It was pretty cute, he wasn’t sure whether to call me Ellen or Ms. Beck, so he didn’t call me anything!)
I can’t tell you just how randomly amazing this was for both of us – so unexpected and especially during Covid times. I was there when he grew up, helped with his homework… when he played hockey in school, rallied with his dad in the 911, drove on the track, got his first career job… and somewhere in there I moved away for 15 years… saw him once or twice in between, and now he has his own family!
My big regret is that I didn’t snap a pic of us, together again, at the dump. Haha, I still can’t believe it!
Here’s a snap I found in my library of JJ and his dad John in 2015 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on a tour where we got to do “parade laps” in our own Porsches around the track. They came to the Porsche Parade (annual convention) in John’s 911 Turbo, which was held in French Lick, Indiana. It was a hoot.
I was buzzing for hours on this encounter… how cool is that? Here are my stats for the drive home in the 2015 Beetle TDI – 8h 21m, 50.4 mpg, 543 mi, avg 64 mph. Yeah, not going to lie, it is a long drive. Thank goodness for Sirius XM!