It happened to me again recently. I handed my business card to someone from Europe, he looked at my name, and immediately commented on it being like the country. You know: Tibbetts; Tibet.
Mom was a member of the Book of the Month Club for most of our youth and, while she didn't buy lots of books that way -- she was a housewife and we lived on Dad's teacher's salary in those days before strong teachers' unions -- the books we had at home covered a rather eclectic subject matter. I started to devour them when I was in junior high.
One was Lowell Thomas' book on the Dalai Lama, and I remember being fascinated by this story of a strange land (Tibet), how their leader was discovered and raised, and his dramatic escape over the Himalayas to India. But it would be years later before I made the Tibbetts-Tibet connection I like best.
Tenzin Gyatso fled Lhasa on March 17, 1959, arriving in India 15 days later.
And early on the evening on March 17, 1959, at the Kaiser Hospital on Sunset and Vermont in east Hollywood, California, I was born.
Tibbetts. Tibet. 51 years ago today.