Only once did I ever work in an office with another “Brad.” At the time, I joked that he would have to go, because it was too confusing, and eventually, he did. That was over 20 years ago.
I’ve never met a person named Warthen to whom I was not related. Oh, I’ll occasionally run into the name attached to a stranger in a phone book. And there was that ballplayer Dan Warthen, who used to get his name in the paper a lot when he played for the Memphis minor league team. And that town, Warthen, Ga. — apparently derived from a branch of the family, which originally came into this country through Maryland in the 1630s.
I was as sure as you could be of anything like that that among the 6 billion or so people on the planet, I was the only “Brad Warthen.”
But Facebook changes things. There are so many people there that your sense of uniqueness may have to undergo an adjustment. Some time recently I discovered that there was another Brad Warthen. I couldn’t find out anything about him; I just saw that he was a young guy with red hair. I left it at that.
Then tonight, I got an e-mail:
Brad Warthen sent you a message on Facebook…
“dude we have the same name so i know ur a bad ass”
I wrote back to him, “Obviously.” I mean, what else could I say? I didn’t want to let him down.