Thursday, June 29, 2006

Starbucks Connection

I have often talked about my growing reputation as the Starbucks Stalker. I love meeting new people and one of the greatest places to do that is Starbucks. Think about it...where else can you meet so many diverse, yet incredibly interesting people from all walks of life? Aside from standing in line at the Post Office, which I equate to a slow painful death, Starbucks is a smorgasboard of new opportunities without the banality of most common gathering alternatives.

It now appears I might be rubbing off on my dad.

It was last week and my dad excitedly called my phone to recount an experience he had had in that morning at his local Starbucks. It seems he was enjoying a nice leisurely morning and a Venti Carmel Macchiato when a conversation at the next table caught his ear.

I have often said that a stranger is a friend you haven't met yet. I learned much of this way of thinking from dad growing up and watching him engage people at restaurants, bookstores and our favorite fishing haunts. He is really a master engager!

At any rate, it seems the conversation that he was overhearing, happened to be about the promotion of speakers on the radio. One man was speaking to another about how he should focus on radio for getting exposure for his new book. When my dad heard the words speaking, promotion and book, his heart began to race.

Dad quickly jumped up from his table and ran to his car. When he came back, he politely interrupted their conversation and introduced himself. He relayed that he wasn't eavesdropping but couldn't help but overhear their conversation and just had to introduce his son and give them my new information flyer. My dad has become my super promoter in Albuquerque with a tenacity that would make Arie Gold from HBO's Entourage seem like a fuzzy kitten.

As luck would have it, the man who had been doing most of the talking was a locally famous talk show host named Larry Ahrens. The other gentlemen sitting at the table just happend to be the 12th man to walk on the moon, Harrison Jack Schmidt. A personal hero of mine since the first grade!!!

As Dad recalled the story in fantastic detail I couldn't help but fill with pride. My Dad was causing a ripple effect of enormous proportions.

Both gentlemen were gracious in accepting my information and I have no idea if anything will come of this random connection. However, my dad proved my long held belief that you can meet just about anyone at your local Starbucks if you are willing to put yourself out there and have the courage to engage. Whether it's a famous radio celebrity or the man on the moon, you just don't know and that's part of the mystery and fun of taking the chance.

Thanks Dad for being a great Starbucks Stalker!

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