Story and Why
The Adventures of Lenny and Tom
A reflection by Tom Gilbert - © July, 2012
life happens better than you could script it. My ole pal, Lenny Bloch,
longtime compadre and fellow radio broadcaster, suddenly appeared
before me yesterday evening. I was walking down the stairs from the top
level of Isotopes Park. The Albuquerque Triple-A affiliate of the Los
Angeles Dodgers had just been rained out. There'd been
hope for the game as it was first delayed. I’d been at the
park for a couple of hours, getting trained as the backup public
address announcer. But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.
had a steady afternoon shower, much needed here in the desert. Add the
lightning and they decided to call off the game before it ever got
started and making it up as part of a doubleheader today. So my debut
over the loudspeakers at Isotopes Park will be a twin-bill!
But I digress. So there I was, trudging down the four flights of
stairs, musing about my upcoming baseball duty, and I come up behind a
guy who from the behind looks quite familiar. As he reaches the bottom
of the steps he turns slightly to the side and I instantly recognize
Lenny. I slap him on the back and he spins around. We both had the
shocked and surprised facial reactions followed by vigorous guy hugs.
It was just last week I’d put a call in to my friend.
“Yo, Lenny! We’re coming to New York soon.
Let’s get together, maybe catch a game.”
“Tommy, it’s great to hear your voice.
How’s the family? We’ll definitely get together.
I’ll be just getting back from a trip out your way.
I’m heading to Arizona and maybe Taos.” And the
conversation went on as we yapped about traveling, family, radio,
baseball and all the things we instantly fall into every time we
I figured the next time I’d actually see Lenny would be in
New York City on our fast approaching vacation. But there he was, big
as life, in the flesh, smiling right in front of me. Time and space
take a bow. Synchronicity sending tingles up my spine. What were the
odds? Call it random chance, luck, coincidence or a simple twist of
fate. It’s crazy to contemplate, but I just accept it for
what it is – spiritual and meant to be.
It turned out Lenny had taken a detour after visiting a friend in Taos
and his annual stop at the hot springs in Ojo Caliente. He’d
rented a car and before driving out to Arizona decided to catch the
Albuquerque Isotopes game. No planned get together – he was
just enjoying some personal time and going with the flow on his
journey. However, the Universe had different plans. Marvelously and
magically our paths intersected.
It was great catching up. If you have friends like this you know the
enjoyment of such happenstance. The instant ease of conversation and
the glow of companionship. We’ve both got a lot of history
between us, and we both have plenty of separate adventures as
we’ve traveled our paths the past thirty years.
We’ve even got the twin chrome domes as Lenny took the plunge
and shaved his noggin a few months back. It’s been a few
years for me. We both gave up the follicle fight and accepted our bald
heads as the way it’s meant to be. Call us Dos Boneheads.
I got Lenny to come by the house and my wife, Annette, who also knows
Lenny from those heady early radio days in Albuquerque in the early
1980’s, greatly enjoyed seeing him and catching up. Lenny had
planned on a nap after the game…in his car…and I
put a quick end to that. We pulled out the futon and he spent the night.
This morning we had coffee, another great little chat, and then off he
drove, going west on the Interstate, a few hundred highway miles to his
destination in Arizona. Time and space closed that window, hermetically
sealing the memory of the surprise encounter, but captured here as
I’m wont to do, being the personal historian ever mindful
that our lives are our stories.