Dead Ahead

“What is your iceberg?” I asked another party-goer over the weekend. I had been telling some of the guests that I will watch a bit of the Rocky Top Dance Challenge next Sunday. Dance competitions are a world I knew little about until last year. Like a mostly submerged iceberg, I was only aware of the tip.

While we all had some connection to the All Saints Church choir, the group assembled for the party had very diverse interests. A German man told me he wished he could be a soccer commentator. I suggested he could record a podcast about it. Another man was excited to pick up a motorcycle that he purchased from someone in Wisconsin. He plans to drive it back to Tennessee.

Another guest was heavily involved in her kids’ swim team, something with which I was familiar. One man was just named Scoutmaster of his sons’ troop and will find himself camping on Father’s Day even though he’s more of a hotel and restaurant guy. One man plays the cello beautifully at church on Sunday but doesn’t touch it during the week at his forensics-related job.

I have a few icebergs in my own personal collection. The host of the party asked if I still liked cooking BBQ. I do, but not to the extent that I used to smoke ribs and pork shoulder before my weight loss. I told him that I was recently able to hold my own in a conversation with BBQ champion Mike Davis. He wondered if I had ever heard of a food called Goetta that is popular in Cincinnati. I hadn’t.

The party highlighted why I enjoy talking with strangers. Ask the right questions and they reveal a wealth of information on whatever they are passionate about. No wonder I am looking forward to attending my wife’s high school reunion next month.

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