Soooo...there is a fairly famous picture, taken in the 1930's, of a dozen very Irish looking gentlemen, sitting on a steel I-beam hundreds of feet above the streets of New York, having lunch. Reportedly, they were helping to build Rockafeller Center. They were wearing neither safety harnesses nor hard hats. For the 50 years I have known Lorraine, she has always maintained that two of these gentlemen ( the one on the near end having a liquid lunch and the one on the far end lighting a cigarette) were relatives, specifically her mother's uncles. "Yeah...sure...everyone of Irish heritage lays claim to being related to one or more of these men." Several years ago, one of Lorraine's cousins told her of seeing this same picture in a shop window and getting very excited because his father and an uncle were in the picture. He had a copy of the picture made and sent it to Lorraine. Last summer, before embarking on this adventure, our son Carl and his wife Valerie excitedly called us to tell us that the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) was showing a documentary on this very same picture. They managed to identify the two book-end gentlemen and they indeed were Lorraine's relatives from Shenanglish, Ireland. In the documentary, they interviewed Lorraine's cousin, who had sent her the copy of the picture, and he confirmed that one of the men was indeed his father. PBS also interviewed another of Lorraine's cousins who also confirmed that the other book-end gentleman was his father. Thus, both book-end gentlemen were indeed Lorraine's great uncles. PBS also went to Shinanglish, Ireland where this same picture is displayed prominently in one of the local pubs to indicate that two of their own were now famous.
Well, one might ask what this has to do with our trip. While walking to the Spice Bazaar on the Asian side of Istanbul, I stopped suddenly and excitedly pointed to the side of a building. Staring back at us was a billboard size copy of this same picture. The owner of the restaurant opposite the picture came over to us to see why we were so excited. After explaining the story to him and showing him a picture of Lorraine's brother, Gerard (who is a spitting image of the man on the near end of the beam), the restaurant owner also became excited and started to explain the whole story to his Turkish customers. This incident made their day, ...and our's as well.
It truly is a small world.