A wise character once said, “Coincidence, that's all anything ever is, nothing more than coincidence.” Okay, it was spoken by a fictional character in the 2009 romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer, but you get the idea. Whether you believe in true coincidence or not, there is no denying that the following stories are incredibly cool.
Anne Parrish went to Paris. (This is not a tongue twister but the beginning of a coincidence that will charm book lovers around the world.) Being such a lover of books, Anne Parrish made it her profession. A well-known novelist, it is no surprise that Parrish found herself browsing a Parisian bookstore while on vacation with her husband. It was there that she came across a volume of one of her favorite books from childhood – Jack Frost and Other Stories. Nostalgic, she showed the book to her husband who leafed through the pages and found the following inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” Turns out, some 4,939.5 miles from home, she happened upon her very own childhood copy.
In a related twist of fate, actor Anthony Hopkins, while researching a role in the film adaptation of George Feifer’s The Girl from Petrovka, was unable to locate a single edition of the book in the entire city of London. (Note: This was 1973, and Amazon.com was not around.) Luckily for Hopkins, he found a copy of the book left behind on a train platform. Odd, but not entirely unlikely considering people had to actually carry books, magazines and newspapers with them if they wanted to read in those days. The fascinating part of the story, however, is that the book wasn’t just any copy – it was George Feifer’s personal copy, which he had made notes in and then lent to a friend, from whom it was then stolen.
In what can only be sheer coincidence, this next story takes place in both of the aforementioned cities of London and Paris. In 1953, television reporter Irv Kupcinet flew to London to report on the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. While staying at the Savoy Hotel, he found some items in his room belonging to his friend, Harlem Globetrotter Harry Hannin, which were apparently forgotten. Before Kupcinet was able to tell his friend of his findings, he received a telegraph. While Hannin was staying at the Le Meurice hotel in Paris, he found a tie in his room – a tie that bore the name Kupcinet. Two friends, away in two separate countries, found items belonging to one another while staying in one of the millions of random hotel rooms.
Weird coincidences don’t just happen abroad. One day in the 1930’s, while taking a leisurely stroll through Detroit, a man by the name of Joseph Figlock had a baby fall from a window and land on him. A strange occurrence indeed, as babies typically don’t fall from the sky. Luckily, Figlock broke the child’s fall and both survived. A year later, Figlock was once again walking down the very same street when he was again accosted by a flying baby. Turns out, it was the very same baby, falling from the very same window, on the very same street, and once again, the very same man was there to break his fall.
Twins separated at birth is an occurrence usually reserved for the plots of cheesy movies, but it does occasionally happen. Two brothers were adopted by different parents and both named James. Jim Lewis went on to get training in law-enforcement, mechanical drawing and carpentry, marry a woman named Linda, have a son named James Alan, divorce Linda, marry a woman named Betty and own a dog named Toy. Meanwhile, his identical twin, Jim Springer, got training in law-enforcement, mechanical drawing and carpentry, married a woman named Linda, had a son named James Allan, divorced Linda, married Betty and bought a dog named Toy.
So there you have it, two magically placed books, an international and unintentional scavenger hunt, a flying baby and twins separated at birth living parallel lives; five stories that are almost to coincidental to be coincidental.