This project is gathering stories of chance events. Post your story here for review and publication.

Steve Jobs

Posted: March 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: luck | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Steve Jobs

A reissue of a book about Apple tells of a chance event.

Of particular interest to students of venture capital is the section of the book that cover’s Sequoia Capital’s involvement with Apple. Firm founder Don Valentine is credited with sending over Mike Markkula to the company and then more or less leaving it alone. The actual investment seemed to be the product of a chance meeting: When Valentine spotted Markkula, Jobs and Hank Smith dining together one evening at Monterey’s Chez Felice Restaurant, he sensed what was being discussed. He dispatched a bottle of wine to the trio with a note reading “Don’t lose sight of the fact that I’m planning on investing in Apple.” There were reservations at Apple about Valentine. Some had formed their own conclusions. Gary Martin said, “It was obvious he was out for the quick turn,” and Sherry Livingston recalled, “We were always wondering what board he was going to join next.”

via peHUB » Moritz Revisits Steve Jobs and Apple.


London Cabby Saves US/Soviet Cooperation

Posted: March 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: luck, synchronicity | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on London Cabby Saves US/Soviet Cooperation

In 1980 I started working for NASA as a space physiologist and was asked to lead a three-person US delegation to Moscow to negotiate experiments to be flown on a Soviet biosatellite. The NASA Project Scientist provided me with a Nikon camera to document instrumentation, international equipment shipping forms, copies of existing agreements between the two “sides”, and notes on items to resolve during our meetings. This critical material just fit into a leather briefcase I bought for the trip and intended to guard carefully.

We flew into London from California for an overnight stay with departure the next morning, Sunday, to Moscow. We woke early to breakfast at the hotel and I looked for my briefcase that also contained my money, passport and visa. It wasn’t in my room and I panicked. My colleagues remembered that when we arrived at Victoria Station on the shuttle bus from Heathrow, because the last cab was waiting, we grabbed each other’s bags sitting next to the bus, jumped in, and headed to the hotel. We stowed the luggage in our rooms, went to dinner and then a late night jazz club, to help shift our biorhythms. But why wasn’t my briefcase in one of their rooms? They didn’t have a clue.

I guessed it was left in the cab and ran to the stand outside the hotel and accosted the first in line. Was there a lost and found? Yes. Was it opened on Sunday? No. Where did I get the cab to the hotel? Victoria Station. I told the cabby that if I couldn’t retrieve the briefcase within a half-hour we would not only miss our plane, our entire trip to Moscow to negotiate a joint space flight, would collapse. He pulled me into his cab and headed for Victoria Station. I asked why, but he couldn’t explain. I knew Victoria Station was just a bus-to-cab transfer point with an unoccupied, wide-open building. Of what possible use would it be to go there?

The cabby sprinted into the waiting room that contained only a bare counter. He jumped behind it and flung open cupboard doors and then – pulled out my briefcase. We did a quick bear-hug dance, and ran back to his cab. Tears welled up in our eyes as we raced back to the hotel and he assembled his story. The bus driver probably saw the briefcase on the sidewalk after everyone had left and figured that someone would come right back to look for it. He had to leave for the airport, so he put it in the cupboard. He never thought it would sit there overnight.

The cabby wouldn’t accept a tip, and said his reward was to know that the “system” had worked and international cooperation would continue unabated, even between the two Cold Warriors. Whenever I see a black English taxi I feel very thankful for a cabby’s faith in his fellow man.

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Mary J. and I Cheat Death

Posted: February 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: life + death, luck | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Mary J. and I Cheat Death

One hot summer in New York City. Mary and I were invited to The Black Expo. We were so excited because everyone was talking about how much fun they had there. We both wanted to get DJ Clue’s mixed CD. At that time all mixed tapes were on cassette tapes so this was revolutionary to us. I wanted Mary to see all the different vendors maybe we could make a few
music connections for her music interests. It was Fire we had a blast we met DJ Clue He signed our CD’s and he was fine,too. We watched his big smile and both got weak in the knees. We walked away like lotto winners. We stopped bought some signs, that were fashioned after those baby on board car placuw. They said “Your Cute” , “Call Me” ,Your A Ten”, and so on. After a long day at the expo we went to meet my cousin, Carlos and his friend Jon Goddy by Willy Bugers on 8th Ave.

Cars were lined up, up and down 145th St. Every car was blasting the Angie Martinez Show. I scream that my song. I then got out the car at the red light and danced around my car, Hundreds of people cheered at me and Mary yelled “Dorian Get Your Ass in the Car” She went on to say that that was the most embarrassing thing anybody ever in front of her. I laughed and told her to relax and the fun had just begun. We met my cousin in front of the Projects on 8th Ave. So Mary and I announce, “its so hot lets go get somethin’ to drink.”

We come out of the corner bodega and get halfway across the street and we look up and 2 speeding cars are headed straight at us. We look at each other and both scream at the top of our lungs. I then say ” Mary hold my hand and don’t move” we both stood frozen on the double yellow line as the two cars go by us so fast it almost sweeps us off our feet. We were in the middle of the two cars as they both passed swiping us ever so lightly and miraculously we survived unscathed. WE ran across the street and hugged my cousin for dear Life. Someone yells “YO Alpo and his man were drag racing”. I then say “Mary we need to go take our asses Back to Yonkers and call it a nite”. On the way home Mary picks up the cards we bought at the Expo and starts flashing car on the west side highway. I laugh a guy pulls up next to us with a mouth full of gold teeth and its Flava Flav in a Red Acura just like mine. We look at each other and scream,aaahhh. He laughs at us and we drive home silent, exhausted and happy to be alive…

Without question one of the Kraziest Things That Happened By Chance.


I should have passed

Posted: December 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: luck | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on I should have passed

I was on my Honda 750. The year was 1972 and I was 16 years old. I was leaving high school with 2 of my friends Bob on his Honda 350 and Dennis on his Honda 175. I was leaving the stop sign at 6 ave. and 56 st. heading west. I wound out first and second gear I was now in third gear running 95 mph. 56 street was a 2 way street an old man backed out of his driveway and blocked my lane going straight I broadside him. To go around him to the left I would have ran head on into oncoming traffic. I had one choice go to my right I was in front of Andrews elementary school. It was lined with trees in the front for some reason the week before a crew had cut 6 down in a row. Till this day I don’t know why but I should still be implanted in a tree. The amazing part is I lived my front wheel made it through my back wheel caught the stump a friend a mile away so the bike in the air it was shot straight up I was thrown off like a mortar I ended up in the doorway of a second grade class. Without a scratch . I ran back to the car and pulled the keys out of the ignition My friends and I lied to the cops we were doing the speed limit and all,no ticket and insurance got me another.


The Elizabeth Arden Bag

Posted: November 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: luck, synchronicity | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Elizabeth Arden Bag

All the roads had closed. I walked home in a murky twilight, head down. Next day I awoke the happiest I had ever been–and not a sou in the house. Nada. I put The Pretenders on and lay in bed just there–not a single thought. (That alone is strange.) Phone rang. Hello, I sang. “Hi remember the make up artist at the commercial shoot? I’m at the bank and have $100 for you.” Okay. (Years later I asked her what induced her to do that. And she said–with no recollection today–“You know those red dot ticker tape things over the teller windows? They spelled out “Susan needs money’.”) Minutes later I am dancing to Crissy and I have five twenties in my hand. Phone rings. “Hi. Remember Darrell? He’s looking for five people to staff his monthly travel magazine. (I had moved to New York to continue serious writing.) I put stuff in a shopping bag (no purse and it was red like the dress I put on–for an interview? Strange again.) I rounded the corner into Darrell’s office. (The best mag editor in NYC also.) And he looks and says, “Anyone who comes to the interview with an Elizabeth Arden bag gets the job.” Ha!

Two weeks later I was in Paris, all expenses paid and town car on the other end interviewing the Minister of Tourism in Paris, getting to write long and learning from a master. As my mother said, the one thing she wished she could leave her children (I said, “A yacht?”) was more faith. Faith IS it. Not karma, not any of it–plain wonderful faith–it’s what I was showed and how my future was already there–I had to be calm to receive it. What if I had left my apt that morning and run around trying to find all of this? (That job, by the way, lasted over 15 years and paid the rent happily for many moons.)

Sincerely, Susan Moriarty–Still Learning


Love forged in battle

Posted: November 24th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: love, luck | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Love forged in battle

I was fighting in the woods battle at Pennsic an SCA event in Butler PA.  when I was struck in the arm with an arrow. I figured I would take someone out with me so I charged into the smallest shield across from me. As we collided I heard “EEP” my first thought was oh crap I just flattened a chick.

I peered over her shield to see if she was ok and I only saw her eyes and fell in love with her at that moment. I looked all over for her that year to no avail. Then in August 2006, at the same event but in the field battle our units were fighting together and after I was killed I walked off of the battlefield and sat on the ground. When all of a sudden Sarah came over in full armor and asked me if I had seen her crossbow. I could not speak, I could hardly breathe, “at last I have found her.

That evening I walked to her camp and asked her if she had found her crossbow. It was pouring down rain but we decided to go for a walk anyhow We walked and talked until we came upon a large pavilion tent with hay bales underneath. We sat and talked most of the night the next day we got up and fought again. And this continued throughout the week. At the end of the week I offered to drive her home to Alexandria VA. She had commuted to Pennsic with her ex boyfriend and accepted my offer. We talked the whole way back to Ohio where I lived at the time because I had to work the next day. After work I took her back to Alexandria and I headed home the next day for work. I commuted to Alexandria VA from Akron OH every weekend to see Sarah. Finally on September 20, 2009 I moved to Alexandria to be with the woman I love. Here I am three years later and still madly in love with Sarah.

The real magic of the story come before the meeting in our life events leading up to the moment. This cannot be told in only 500 words.


Tie your shoes.

Posted: November 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: life + death, luck | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Tie your shoes.

Ever since I could remember, my grandmother would always get on me about making sure my shoes were tied, I would come from outside and that’s the first thing she would look at, she has passed away years ago but my habit of keeping my shoes tied didn’t fade with her and without her always nagging me about it I wouldn’t be alive today. A few years back after getting off of work, I went to the gas station to get some snacks, it was what seemed to be a typical nite as I was strolling down the isle looking up and down at the shelves when I noticed my right shoe string was undone, I felt lazy and didn’t want to even bend all the way down to do it but I thought to myself that my grandmother is probably turning in her grave at the sight of my untied shoe so I stooped down and proceeded to tie my shoe when I heard a loud bang and a window shatter and what felt like a sudden beam of heat over my head, come to find out it was a bullet and it would have killed me… If I didn’t tie my shoe…