We Had a Little Surprise as We Were Clearing Customs
After a uneventful cruise across Strait of Juan De Fuca to Port Townsend from Victoria, we pulled up to the Custom’s dock at Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina. Earlier in the morning Jim had called the Customs Office near Port Townsend, this is the protocol for checking back into the United States for clearing customs, specifically Port Townsend, after being in Canada. We don’t normally call ahead of time before we arrive, however Port Townsend does not have an office right there, so we had to call to give a heads up to the Customs Officer so that he could plan to meet us there later.
The surprise came shortly after we made the arrival phone call. We didn’t have to wait very long before the officer parked near the dock and walked down to our boat. As I came out of the boat to greet him, I happened to notice his hame embroidered on his shirt. Officer Vella. I immediately had a flashback to a childhood friend, a young boy who lived across the street from our family. As kids we lived outside in warm weather, biking, playing football in the street and I especially remember my brothers and I laying on our friend front lawn watching the stars at night, talking about how vast the universe was and what it may hold for our young lives. I kept this thought to myself, thinking how great the odds would be that this would be that old friend. So, during the interview, Officer Vella asked us where we lived etc. and we said northern Michigan. He promptly said that he was from Michigan too, the Detroit suburbs. Then I had to ask if he knew or was related to my friend. Officer Vella promptly said, “Yes! He is my uncle.” We were both surprised by this revelation and the details and stories flew back and forth. In the end clearing customs will never be the same again, this is one I will never forget. We exchanged contact information and I am hoping my old childhood friend will contact me one day so that we can catch up on where the big universe took our lives.