Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Old Marina and a Coincidence from History

Here are pictures of an old, dingy marina. I like dingy marinas more than the fancy ones because they have character. Marina's with peeling paint and rust and discoloration make more interesting photo subjects.

I recently listened to an episode of the podcast Memory Palace about John Wilkes Booth's brother, Edwin Booth. In it, an amazing historical coincidence was mentioned. I won't give it away here because it is more fun to listen to. But it got me interested in other historical coincidences. Here is one I found about King Umberto the First of Italy.
  One day, King Umberto was feeling quite famished! He decided to dine at a small restaurant with his aide. The owner of the restaurant was excited to have the king dine at his humble establishment. He wanted to show the king the utmost hospitality, so he went out to greet his famous diner personally. Both men were shocked to see each other. It wasn't just that they looked similiar, they looked identical.  Both their faces and their builds seemed to mimic each other. But it turned out it was not only the superficial appearance that was similiar. Many aspects of their life were the same. They were both born on the exact same day, March 18th 1944. They were born in the same small town. Both men were married to women named Margherita. The restaurant owner opened his restaurant on the same day that the King Umberto became King. Later on, the king learned that his odd double died in a mysterious gun accident. He learned this sad bit of info on the same day that he was cruelly assassinated.
  It could be this story is just hogwash and never really happened, but if it did, my guess is that they were identical twins separated at birth. Maybe their father thought that if the two identical boys grew up together, they would always be at each others throats, in constant competition in order to prove that they should be the true king.It seems that royal brothers throughout history quarrel over who is the rightful heir, and a set of brothers who look exactly alike might be more prone to this dispute. The father my have thought that his sons would have a better life separated. But probably, he secretly still watched his son being raised out of royalty. Most likely he sent his aides to make sure his desolate son was being provided for. Maybe this is how he got the money needed to start his own business. 
  The story of King Umberto and his potential twin reminds me of another story about twins, the Jim twins. The Jim twins were separated at birth and raised by different families but had a lives that were remarkably similiar, although most of the similarities involved names. Not only were they both named Jim, but as children they both had a dog named 'Toy.'  Both Jims married twice. Their first wives shared the same name- Linda, and their second wives also shared the same name- Betty. Both Jims have a son. One Jims son is named James Alan and the other Jims son is named James Allen.

*(I found the info on King Umberto at Wikipedia and the info on the Jim Twins at HowStuffWorks.)


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I remember learning about the Jim Twins in a developmental psychology class I took as an undergrad. The professor cited them as an axample of how the connection among twins is one of the most complex of all connections. Such a fascinating story they are.

Amber said...

I agree! They are so interesting. It must have been so odd for them when they first met.