I watch a lot of television shows that involve police investigations. I also read a lot of mysteries. I think it’s safe to say that 90 percent of those shows and books involving detectives investigating crimes have had a conversation like this:

Detective Hot Shot: After you get me my coffee, tell me what you’ve learned in our case, Sgt. Flunkee.

Sgt. Flunkee: Black with three sugars, right H.S.?, as he puts the coffee mug in front of his boss.

Hot Shot: Two, but we’ll let it go this time. So what do you have?

Flunkee: Well, it turns out that the victim, Mary Elizabeth, and the funeral parlor owner, who, as you know, we suspect of killing Mary Elizabeth, went to school together in Podunk, S.D. He was the captain of the football team, and she was the towel girl. They were going steady. Then, Mary Elizabeth learned that he was cheating on her with the head cheerleader. She vowed revenge. They didn’t see each other again until 10 years later, when they both ended up living here in Corncob, Nebraska. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it, especially since she ended up being murdered, and her body was discovered behind the funeral home?


For the most part, even though I’m not a police detective and I don’t use sugar in my coffee, I mostly don’t believe in coincidences either. Still, I believe that they do happen on occasion. At dinner the other night, our friend told us a story about coincidences that made me gasp, and then smile.

It seems up until a few years ago when he went to heaven, one of the Wind Crest residents was a 102-year-old man. He was an Army veteran of World War II. While serving, he was shot down from his airplane and placed in a POW camp somewhere in Germany. When he was a few years younger, he met another new resident, a fellow who was about his age. The two men struck up a conversation. In the course of this conversation, the man mentioned to the new resident that he had been a fighter pilot in World War II. The other man said, “Wow. I was also a fighter pilot in World War II.” The first guy tells the second guy that he had been shot down and spent several years in a German prison camp. The second guy said, “My plane was also shot down, and I was also a POW in Germany.

You can see where this story is going. It turns out the two men were in the same POW camp in Germany at the same time. Both men survived, obviously, but lived the entire rest of their lives — up until moving to Wind Crest — in two different states.


As an aside, when the man was 102 years old, he was nominated to serve as the honorary captain of the annual Wind Crest car parade held on the Fourth of July. He accepted, but expressed his puzzlement at why he was selected.

Perhaps because you are 102 years old, one of the last remaining veterans of World War II, and survived several years as a POW in Germany.

They don’t make them like that anymore.