On April 3, 2009 a balding, somewhat overweight man in his fifties entered a Salt Lake City pastry shop, ordering a Creme Broulee and a glass of water. He took a seat on a bar stool at a table for two on the same wall as the entrance where he could see anyone walking through the front door before they could see him.
A few minutes later a tall, slightly younger man with thick blond hair quickly walked through the front door. The guy with the Creme Broulee wondered, "Is that him?" just as the younger man stopped, turned around and scanned the room. As their eyes met, the man at the table raised his right hand, extending his index finger like handgun and fired off an imaginary shot by lowering his thumb as if squeezing a trigger.
Both men smiled and nodded as if they'd known each other since childhood, but actually it was their first face-to-face meeting. The younger man had been blogging for almost three years and the older man had read every entry. The older man's blog was only a few months old, but the younger man had also read each of the newcomer's entries.
One of them suggested this "late business lunch" and the other reluctantly agreed. They engaged in animated conversation long after consuming their gourmet desserts. The discussion continued as they walked to their respective vehicles. More laughter ensued. They both savored a long hug and then talked even more. Wallets opened. They narrated family photos and exchanged business cards. A second hug lasted longer than the first. This afternoon snack in early April was neither the beginning nor the end of their friendship.