September 28, 2011 by Tommy Link
So this is a story I’ve considered sharing for awhile, but hesitated for various reasons. The biggest would be this story requires giving thanks for the people involved in it, but being wrapped up in the moment, I failed to get their names. Regardless, if you are the people involved in this story, you know who you are, and you should know that I won’t forget this anytime soon. Anyway, the story:
I was playing a show at a local Erie venue, the Presque Isle Gallery Coffee House. It was a quiet show, the place not being empty but far from full, which is fine and expected in my experience of playing coffee shops. Anyway, through the last hour of the show, there was a married couple sitting and listening attentively. They made it clear they were enjoying it, which is always good to see. Afterwards, they approached me, told me they enjoyed the music and purchased a CD from me, which is already more than I would expect from most viewers. What made this truly memorable was what the husband had to say upon exiting. The man posed a question to me and the conversation went roughly as follows.
Man: Tommy, do you know what serendipity is?
Me: I think so… isn’t that like “struck by God” inspiration?
Man: No, you’re thinking of “epiphany” (which was exactly what I was thinking). Serendipity is finding something without the intention of finding it. Its a gem in the road. Tommy, my wife and I came to Presque Isle today with the intention of spending the day together on the bike path. Afterwards we decided stopping here in the coffee shop that we’ve been to before, with no knowledge of who you were, that you would be here playing, or that there would be any music at all. That’s serendipity. You are the gem in the road.
This might be the greatest thing I have heard to date from any fan of my music. I was down right flustered with feeling so good about myself to point where I didn’t think to ask these kind people their names. Seriously though, this is something that will stick with me for a very long time, and if the folks who said ever happen to read this, thank you. Having someone say something like that to me is the kind of thing that keeps me doing this, and can help me keep my head up through the bad gigs. Thank you, a thousand times over.