Sychronicity hits my home and my heart!

Synchronicity is a term I have come to cherish since being introduced to it by my favorite psychologist, Carl Jung. It refers to deeply meaningful coincidences that mysteriously occur in one’s life. Jung proved by the law of probability that they were not mere coincidences but insights into our rich and worthwhile lives.

My most recent one occured when I published a photograph of two of my grandchildren at the Glendinning Rock Garden in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia. The garden was a favorite spot for kids and grown-ups to visit and enjoy the spring waters and streams that flowed near the current Kelly Drive. Brewerytown was famous for beer production and much of the brew was shipped along the Schuylkill River and transported on land up Brewery Hill Drive, some two blocks away from the Philadelphia Zoo.

I published the photo – taken last summer – on Facebook with a group named “Brewerytown, St. Ludwig’s School” which mentioned my elementary school and our old neighborhood. It got 36 comments and 17 likes within just a few days.

Phoenyx and Chance hanging out in the old Rock Garden of Brewerytown

One of the comments was from a fellow who road horses near the garden and across the railroad tracks close to my home on 31st Street near Girard Avenue. It jarred a memory I had as a kid of seeing horses beng ridden by black cowboys over the rough land and concrete grounds near one of the old breweries.


Black cowboys? Yes, Philadelphia had a slew of ’em, but I didn’t know that until I had recalled the filming of an independent movie with Idris Elba that was released just a month earlier in April, 2021. The movie is called Concrete Cowboys and was filmed in and around Fletcher Street, some 12 blocks away from Girard Avenue.

It told the story of how many blacks from the South made their way to Philadelphia in the early 1900s and road horses and wagons while esablishing stables near their homes just north of the Streawberry Mansion section as well as other Philly sites. It also mentions the famous jazz musician John Coltrane, the great saxophonist who once lived at 1511 N. 33rd Street in Philadelphia.

After reading the Facebook comment, I watched the movie on Netflix. This is where the synchronicity flourished and made me smile!

Elba meets up with many of the cowboys who recall the stables and horse riding locations throughout the city and he mentions 31st Street. My home street that my father purchsed a house for just $5,000 many years ago. Thirty-First Street where cops had arrested me for pitching pennies and later for sneaking into the ACME warehouse to get half-balls from the roof.

What a glorious feeling to cherish my old hometown and the street where I grew as a teenager, sang Doo Wop on street corers and was later drafted into the army.

Thank you, Carl Jung for showing me how such connections are inspired by mystical occurences and joyful reflections . . .

(For a closer look at neighborhood stories, click on the colored highlighted words)

8 comments on “Sychronicity hits my home and my heart!

  1. contoveros says:

    The following comments appeared on LinkedIn:

    Patricia Donohue

    Good pic, Michael. You actually got both kids to smile! Good work in today’s society!

    Michael J Contos

    The little ones loved the rock garden and all the places I took them to show ’em how I had fun growing up. They loved Smith’s Playground and the world’s largest indoor slide!

    Good to hear from you. Hope to see you guys soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Gelman says:

    You were so amazing and intelligent I would follow your Blog


  3. Bruce Saul says:

    Good memories Mike I remember well the day you got arrested for pitching pennies


    • contoveros says:

      Me and my brother John, as well as our neighbor Charlie Dellacasa, were all picked up by Philly police after pinching pennies that my mother gave us to play with outside our 31st Street home. Your lucky you stayed at your home just two doors away to avoid getting “pinched!”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. contoveros says:

    The following comments were aired on Facebook:

    Patricia Muronoff Kalafut

    I’ll have to watch that movie on Netflix this weekend. You’ve piqued my curiosity.

    Michael J Contos

    It is a coming of age type movie for a teenager and his relationship with his father.…


    Wolf Ecrivain

    Now I want to watch the movie too. Great read, Michael!

    Michael J Contos

    I learned something about my old neighborhood – John Coltrane, the jazz artist – lived just two blocks away from my house and died just a year before I was drafted. His house is on the historical registration in Pennsylvania.

    The teenager in the movie is named after him and is called “Cole.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LaDonna Remy says:

    This is such a lovely post. It sounds like a wonderful connection.

    Liked by 2 people

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