Couldn't Set This Up If I Tried!
By Richard Jonassen
Last spring, at an alpaca show in NJ, one of the people we spoke with asked if they could visit our farm in Upstate NY.  We suggested they call when ready and we would be happy to have them visit. Both Ulla and I forgot about it as we have many requests like that which never pan out. 

About three weeks ago we got a call asking to come and visit as the people were interested in alpacas and also in how we had laid out our farm.  We suggested a visit over a weekend and they showed up on a Sunday afternoon...the couple that had first seen us in NJ along with their daughter and her husband and baby. Not being very good with names (and not wanting to appear inattentive) their name didn't sink in too far. 

Ulla took everyone but the gentleman on a tour of the barn and animals while I escorted the man around the fields discussing fencing and pastures and the like.  When we got back to the barn area, he and I were hanging on a fence and just talking.  I asked him why he moved up to Remsen, NY from downstate.  He told me he had retired from the Military and had had his own business for quite a few years and that he had thought of upstate NY as a good place to live, although he and his wife had also explored Virginia.  He also mentioned how, growing up on Staten Island he had thought about land and so on.  I stopped him when the magical "Staten Island" came up and said I, too, came from SI.  He said he had been raised in Great Kills.  I said,  so had I.  He said he lived on Cleveland Avenue, and then the penny dropped for both of us.  He and I lived next door to each other!  Although it was his older brother, Bob, that I was the same age as and had gone to Tottenville HS with, Donald Joseph and I had lots to talk about as our wives stood shaking their heads at the coincidence. 

All this goes to prove how one has always to be careful in this world.  You never, ever know who you'll meet or when you'll meet them again!

I have a feeling we'll be getting together again to trade stories about the "good old days" on Cleveland Ave.

Richard and Ulla Jonassen, Alpacas of Rain Dance Pond, Dolgeville, NY 13329.

Telephone (518) 568-3005, E-mail:,Web site: "Down the road less traveled."

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