I’ll take a roundabout way to tell this little story.

Taking nursing students into the hospital necessitates traveling light. As outside faculty, we don’t have desks, lockers, or any other sort of assigned space in most hospitals. A tote bag, or in my case rolling backpack, and a clipboard with a storage compartment is about the extent of what I carry.

Long ago I discovered that my old Swingline TOT50 stapler was a perfect addition to my clipboard. Fits inside perfectly. I always have a few sheets to staple while I prepare assignments and when I connect up with my students and their papers. I’m always amazed as how many don’t staple their pages together.

Imagine my chagrin when I emptied my last box of TOT50 staples and then learned that they haven’t been made since the late eighties. But this is 2008. I Googled. I shopped. I eBayed. I bought.

The sellers name appeared, and I recognized it. But on eBay the email link doesn’t lead directly to the seller. Later in the day, I received an email shipping notice from the seller. The email address gave him away. It is his and his wife’s name combined. I responded.

I worked with them at a BIG hospital in the late seventies and early eighties. He was an acquaintance who offered sage political advice to neophyte supervisors like me. She was a nursing colleague. I wasn’t there very long and wasn’t sure they would remember me. But, Internet assisted, we connected, had a long telephone conversation remembering people and events, and ended with a promise to keep in touch.

Oh yes, he wants to be a character in my next novel, even a bad guy. I’ve put him in. I hope I can get it published. Perhaps some of our common acquaintances will make the link over time as well.