Barry wants to know how many of us have ever sensed that spooky feeling of coincidence. You know the stuff: occupying the same place or position; the same space or time; the same name or history; and so on.

Coincidence is a phenomenon that touches the lives of most of us at least once in a lifetime and two recent personal events serve to confirm this statement. My wife Ann teaches dressmaking/arts & crafts and as a consequence shops around for the best prices for her materials. One of the arts and craft shops she goes to is in the nearby town of Victoria Park and on this occasion she was looking for a particular, rarely used dressmaking item.

The lady behind the counter said she was out of stock. But she kindly offered to get it in as soon as possible. She would check all her suppliers and asked my wife to leave a name and telephone number. Surprise, surprise! The lady said that her name is Ann Edge too and that originally she and her husband came from Derby. At that particular point in time my wife was not aware that my paternal grandfather also came from Derby – otherwise we may have been dragging skeletons from the closet. Then again, I prefer to let ‘sleeping dogs be’.

But wait, there’s more! A few days later my wife and I were doing a spot of shopping in our local Belmont shopping complex and one of the places visited was a music store to buy a compact disc. This is the same store that yours truly is a member of the ‘Compact Disc Music Club’ where each ten compact discs purchased entitles a member to pick another free of charge up to the value of $30.

Having made our selection we presented it for payment and, at the same time, I asked the shop assistant to enter the purchase on my member’s card. Out came the card index; out came a card. The shop assistant checked back with me that the name is Barry Edge of 149 Belgravia Street, Belmont. I quickly corrected the lady saying my name is right; the address wrong.

The shop attendant gave me the card so that I could check my details and the several purchases made. Folks, most of the purchases entered onto that card were of music by ‘Al Jolson’ – not quite my scene. There was even a different telephone number.

By this time the manager had made an appearance and following the usual exchange of greetings confirmed that there was indeed two Barry Edge’s living in the Belmont area. He said that when he first became aware of this phenomenon he too, to say the least, was a little incredulous. Needless to say, so were we.

The veracity of the above is there for all to see in our telephone directory. What’s even more amazing, 149 Belgravia Street is less than three and a half kilometres from our home in 86 Fulham Street and is located on the other side of the Belmont shopping complex.

Taking the two experiences together, and given that the Perth metropolitan area is approximately a radius of 50 kilometres with a population a fraction over one and half million – and with a name like ours listed a mere 25 times in the local telephone directory (ours being an unlisted number), it seems that coincidence takes on a sharper meaning considering that the three Edge Families in this story all live within a 9 kilometre radius of each other. And who knows, there may even be distant links between us and the Edge families who live in Victoria Park and Belmont respectively.

But like I said earlier, I’m inclined to let ‘sleeping dogs be’.

Barry Edge
Western Australia
August 3, 2004

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