A few weeks ago, I was parking my bicycle outside the Central Library on Nicollet Avenue, when a man walked by and stopped for a moment to look at me oddly. This happens sometimes, so I didn’t think much of it. He passed me by, but then he stopped again, turned around, and approached me. “C____ T_____?” he asked.
(I am omitting the full name he used for privacy-related reasons that will become clear shortly.)
“Pardon me?” I said.
“Oh,” he replied. “I thought you were C_____ T ______.”
I shook my head. “No, I’m sorry, sir,” I said. “I am Andy Sturdevant.” He apologized, looking a little embarrassed, and walked off.
“C_____ T_____” is a memorable name, so I made a note of it. Perhaps C_____ T_____ was my doppelganger.
When I arrived home that evening, I Googled the name with “Minnesota” to see what came up. After a little digging around, I came upon a very old-school personal website for a person of the same name that lives in South Minneapolis. Along with some historic photos and essays on his work in real estate and preservation, he included a photo gallery of some photographs of himself. One of these photos is above: C______ T________ with a Rudge Ulster motorcycle, en route from Cincinnati to the Twin Cities.
I believe it is fair to say that he and I share a certain resemblance.
The odd thing, though, is that C_____ T_____ was born in the mid-’50s. The photo above is from 1979.
C_____ T_____ also posted some photos of himself as he appears today, which is quite a bit different. In fact, I don’t look much like the current-day version of C_____ T_____ at all — he is now clean shaven and doesn’t wear glasses. I do, however, look a bit like the 1979 vintage.
So perhaps this fellow on Nicollet Mall thought he had momentarily traveled thirty years in the past and stumbled across C_____ T_____. This would account for his confusion. I would be baffled if I was walking down the street and came across a person that I hadn’t seen for thirty years but who did not look any different than he looked thirty years ago, when I knew him.
Of course I emailed C_____ T_____ immediately and told him the whole story, also attaching a photo of myself. I was hoping he would invite me to lunch or something and we could talk about what it’s like to look like we do, but I never heard from him. Maybe he never got the email, or maybe it was an old address. Or maybe he just thought it was all too weird. To preserve his privacy, I’m not using his full name, but I do sort of wish he’d written back.
I have never been mistaken for a time traveler before, and if C_____ T_____ was thinking it was all too weird, he’s not wrong. It is kind of weird, but I also think it’s kind of great.