I had bought the car of my dreams—a vintage, forest green, Volkswagen Beetle convertible— from an older gentleman I knew as a reputable businessman who lived and worked in my neighborhood.
I paid for the car in full, but as it needed some mechanical work, the man agreed to pay for the restoration of the motor while indicating it may take a few weeks to as many as two to three months to complete.
Three months had come and gone and I decided to pay a visit to the man to see how things were coming along.
I went to the posh villa on the outskirts of town where the man worked in a beautiful office complex that housed a number of architectural firms.
Coincidentally, a long, two-meter strip of white floorboard trim arrived at my house that had been mistakenly addressed, so I signed for it, thereby having a good excuse to go out to the villa and see the man.
I arrived at the villa and saw the man sat at a table in the courtyard meeting with a few other men.
Suddenly, one of the men at the table complained about the heat, so the group re-located to one of the smaller buildings on the property.
Catching my eye as he was just about to enter the building, the man came over and greeted me, looking puzzled at the strip of wood I was holding.
I explained it was delivered to me and since I knew he was the intended recipient, I signed for it and took the opportunity to drop it off and, at the same time, enquire about my car.
The man said he had only received a call from the mechanic that very morning saying the car was ready to be picked up and he had intended to call me after his morning meetings.
He handed me a card with the mechanics address and told me to meet him there after lunch.
On my way out of of the complex, I was stopped by a woman who asked me where I bought the powder blue blazer I was wearing and mentioned that she thought it was quite smart.
I opened the blazer to show her the label inside and she smiled saying she had a feeling it was her husband's design as he owned the design house who made the blazer.
On the bus heading back into town, I struck up a conversation with a well-dressed older gentleman who also took an interest in my blazer.
I told the man the story of how I had just met the wife of the man who owns the company that makes them.
The man also took notice to my bow tie, saying how he used to wear them when he was a younger man.
Saying he was unable to find any "real" bow ties anymore, he asked me where I bought mine.
Then, one of two heavily built, overall and plaid lumberjack shirt-wearing hillbillies that were standing near us and who had been eavesdropping on my conversation with the man, politely interrupted and said, "that's a Usatinsky bow tie, I'd recognize one anywhere; they're made in the Netherlands."
Completely taken a back and pleasantly surprised by the man's interjection, I kindly corrected him by saying while the company is based in the Netherlands, the bow ties are actually made in Kent, in the southern England.
All three men were impressed by my knowledge about the company and the second, less burly hillbilly asked how I knew so much about it and I replied that it was my company, founded by my great-grandfather in Chicago in 1923.
The three men and I shared a good hearty laugh and I gave them my business card insisting that they drop me an email with their addresses and in turn I would send them each a bow tie with my compliments.
Then I woke up.