US National Figure Skating Champion Drops By Don Cristi’s Home Unexpectedly
photo Credit-Don Wagner-TSM/Utica
You just never know who will be dropping by your home unexpectedly. My wife and I were settling in after working and a man was in front of our home just staring. At first we didn’t think much about it as we live in a very quiet neighborhood.
After what seemed like ten minutes he was still here. Finally, my wife said, "you really need to go out and see what’s going on." So I went out and said, “can I help you with something?” He introduced himself as Keith Lichtman, and I immediately knew it was a local name. His parents once owned Lichtman’s Wine & Liquor. Our home was his childhood home and Keith had not been back to our area for over 30 years. We chatted in the driveway and he shared some old photos of his family in our home. The more we chatted, the more emotional he became.
Let’s face it, in this day and age you don’t just invite a stranger into your home, but I could see it was the right thing to do. Years back I had the opportunity to visit one of my many childhood homes in San Diego and I was grateful for the opportunity and thought I needed to pay it forward. Keith came in and shared with us what was where in our home back in the 1960’s, and we could see how moved by this experience.
We chatted a bit more and we asked if we could take a picture of the two of us in front of the home and he was delighted. He gave us his business card and we said our goodbyes. What we learned was he a very successful interior designer in NYC and was a US National Junior Figure Skating Champion.
There is a saying “you can never go back,” but I’m glad he did and I enjoyed being a part of an important memory with a stranger who now became a friend.