one day I became
footnote in someone’s life, glimpse
of path not taken? I looked up a guy I know the other day. I never met him but I know him. I know who he is. And I know what he does. I wondered how he was doing. I fed his name into the Google. I found him. I found him on a page celebrating his retirement! The page listed all the wonderful things he had done. The page listed all the wonderful accomplishments in his career. The page listed all of the wonderful people he had helped and worked with in his career. The page listed all the wonderful people on the personal side of his life. The page listed the wonderful things his friends and coworkers said about the him. He really had a wonderful life. For me, the key line in the account of his life was the line that stated: “In 1986, he beat out 35 other applicants nationwide for the position of Senior Research Associate at the National Baseball Library.” That was where I came into his life. That was me. Or at least, I was one of the 35 other applicants nationwide for the position of Senior Research Associate. I had even made it to the interview stage. Spent the day in Cooperstown. Met everyone and saw everything including the basement with laundry baskets of baseballs in zip lock bags with labels that said, “Whitey Ford – No Hitter” and “Willie Mays, 600th HR”. When I left, the Director shook my hand and said, “I can’t off you the job but I am penciling you into the lineup.” Two weeks later I got a letter telling me I was one of 35 other unsuccessful applicants nationwide for the position of Senior Research Associate. He became the Senior Research Associate. I became an unnamed footnote in this guy’s wonderful life. I had to wonder how my life would have turned out had I been the one to beat the other 35 other applicants nationwide for the position of Senior Research Associate? I had to wonder if his wonderful life was a glimpse of my path not taken. Wonder as I might, I know that it was not true. This was a NOT path not taken, but a path not even offered. The path came to end when I was became one of 35 other unsuccessful applicants nationwide for the position of Senior Research Associate. I was on my path. I am on my path. I don’t wonder. I have a wonderful life. And that guy? He didn’t even make into my footnotes.