April 19 ē 03:22 PM

It's a small world after all...

August 22, 2007
It's gotta be a dream. And if so, don't wake me up. I really like it exactly where I'm at.

I'm sitting outdoors on a gorgeous summer evening—smooth jazz plays in the background, a glass of perfectly chilled chardonnay in my hand.

Delicious, crispy, to-die-for onion rings straight out of a '50s diner lay piled up on a plate and they're all mine-mine-mine. Burger stations—including one for veggie burgers, a full dinner buffet, two well stocked bars and a dessert table with soft serve ice cream and cookies appear at every single turn of my head. This has got to be a dream.

Mike and Kelly Dietz, the Inspector, and Carol and Kurt Kramer catch up on area news at Woodward Dream Cruise party sponsored by Kelly Services. photo by Catherine Minolli.

Really. It's the cream of the crop. Literally. I'm sitting with a bank president, the president of a sports and entertainment management company, a human resources director and their beautiful wives. There's a building inspector and a temporary member of the band at the table, too. And then there's me. Little old me from the Tri-City Times in Imlay City who somehow worked my way into this awesome dream—until reality strikes. And it's one of those beautiful, it's-a-small-world-reality-taps that makes you feel really good inside.

The dream is the Woodward Dream Cruise and I'm at a party expertly hosted by Kelly Services. I was invited by Kristi Stutz, manager of their Brighton office and most gracious hostess. And the human resources director/part-time band member is, of course, Kurt Kramer of Imlay City, human resources director for Numatics—and a major client of Kelly's. All of the Kelly Services people are welcoming and attentive and everyone is in a great mood. It's relaxed and easy and an amazingly small world. We're in a front row seat on bustling Woodward Avenue in the middle of majorly-happening Bloomfield Hills and the people at my table have actually heard of Imlay City. One of them knows it very well. Kelly Dietz. She's the wife of Mike Dietz, the president of Dietz Trott Sports and Entertainment Management Company.

"Do you know Bruce Milnes?" Kelly asks. Our jaws drop. Of course we know Bruce Milnes. He's a great guy, we say, adding that he just bought another dealership in Lapeer. Kelly's happy to hear that. As an advertising account executive in her earlier life, she used to call on Bruce when he was just starting out. She remembers that he was a school teacher, as was his wife, Brenda. She remembers what a wonderful couple they made, and recalls hearing how sad it was when Brenda died.

Then Kristi asks the building inspector from Romeo if he knows so-and-so Theut. Someone she went to school with for a while. Again, jaws drop. Mr. building inspector knows a lot of people but who from around here doesn't know the Theut name? We're all astounded. Bank president Tom Shafer and his gorgeous wife Mary listen attentively and are curious about how we all hooked up. The answer is simple: pretty much through the power of the written word—through my job here at the Tri-City Times...

...Either the world is getting smaller or the Tri-City Times is getting bigger. Last Tuesday during a break in production I check my email.

It reads as follows:

One thing on the internet led to a google search where I'm glad to have found the Tri-City Times website and your articles. All by the way are very enjoyable to read, but the May 30th column, 'Thirty years, 30,000 valuable lessons' caught my eye for a number of reasons. I'm always amazed how the older we get the more we realize just how smart parents are when it comes to life!

And, 'engaged to be married to the man behind the camera lens' has got to be the most unique photo credit I've ever received!!!

Hope you don't mind receiving this email. Just wanted to take a moment to say Hi, keep up the great thoughts and articles, and hope all is well with you.

Mark Windecker in 1975. Asked for a photo of himself to keep, this is what he came up with.
Not much has changed with me, just a few of them damn 'dogs whizzing by with baby rabbits in their jaws' from time to time.--Mark

I'm amazed and in semi-shock. The email's from Mark Windecker, the man I married in 1976 and split with three years later. A man I haven't spoken to in at least 15 or 16 years! He was referring to the Father's Day column I wrote about my dad, the one where I included an old photo of Dad and me taken in 1975 by Windecker himself...

...It feels like it's gotta be a dream. The world really can't be that small. Maybe it's just the universe sending good things this way when I need them the most...

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