Pine Nuts: There’s something going on here |

Pine Nuts: There’s something going on here

We all suspect there are forces affecting our lives that we don’t know anything about, and now I’m convinced of their presence. Allow me to relate a personal incident that falls far outside the realm of coincidence or statistics.

It starts in the triple-canopy forests of Vietnam, where I got to know one of the world’s great guys, Ginzo Sala. For thirteen months one of us was awake while the other slept in a hole.

We woke one-another up every two hours to stand watch. We shared heat by day, monsoons by night and even shared the peanut butter in our C-Rats. In short, we became brothers.

One particularly dreary morning toward the end of our tour, Ginz woke me at dawn.

“Night Train, get up! We got a war to fight.”

Without opening my eyes I reached around for an invisible telephone and picked up the receiver. “Room service? Please send up some Eggs Benedict and a bottle of Lancers.”

Well, Ginzo was not in a good humor that particular morning, and he let me know it.

“Night Train, number one, there ain’t going to be no bleeping Eggs Benedict, and number two, there sure as bleep ain’t going to be no bleeping bottle of Lancers!”

Years later I visited Ginzo in Chicago, where he put me up in one of those twin towers. He showed me around the Loop where everybody knew him. The guys in the band, the girls serving drinks, everybody hailed Ginzo.

The next morning there came a knock at my door that I was not expecting. From bed I shouted, “Go away!”

“Room service!”

“I didn’t order room service! Go away!”

“Night Train Layne?”

“Yeah … yeah, hang on a second.”

I found a towel, wrapped it around my waist, and stumbled to the door.

“Eggs Benedict and a bottle of Lancers for Night Train.”

Ginzo never forgot.

Now here’s where we get to the paranormal. Thirty years later, I’m driving down the I-80 corridor toward San Francisco for a job. It’s about ten o’clock in the morning.

Ginzo, living in Rocklin, is driving along I-80 to Sacramento for a job. Now, mind you, I never turn and look out my passenger window while driving on a freeway, never.

But I did that morning, and there was Sal staring back at me. Both jaws dropped.

Well of course we pulled over and made plans to get together that evening, but what was beyond the pale of statistics or coincidence was the fact that we both turned to look toward each other in the same instant.

Later we corroborated that neither of us ever looks sideways in freeway traffic, ever.

Mark Twain told us, “Most people use statistics the way a drunk uses a lamppost, more for support than illumination. I wish I could use statistics here to explain this curious encounter, but I can’t.

All I can believe is that there is more going on around us and within us than we will probably ever know, and I have to believe, it’s a good thing.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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