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Funny home movies link North Hall man with Dave Matthews
Local baseball coach learns now-famous singer is still thinking of him
Dave Matthews recently talked about his childhood friend Trent Mongero, above, North Hall's baseball coach, in a radio interview.

The power of the Internet, with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, has allowed thousands of old elementary, high school and college friends to reconnect after losing touch.

But who knew it would be an episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos" that would reconnect North Hall baseball coach Trent Mongero with an old friend from his childhood.

Oh yeah, and that friend? Dave Matthews, lead singer and namesake of the Dave Matthews Band, which has been touring and selling millions of records for more than 15 years.

On a recent interview on radio station WPLJ 95.5-FM in New York, Matthews was asked about friends he remembered from growing up in upstate New York.

"I was watching ‘America's Funniest Home Videos,' a rerun, some time ago - the wife and I were taking it in, because it's culture - and there's some football blooper. And it cuts to the guy who sent it in, sitting there with his wife, and it was Trent Mongero," said Matthews, excited by his discovery but leaving the disk jockeys dumbfounded as to who Mongero was.

"Trent Mongero, from fourth grade. There he was, unchanged, except slightly bald."

Joe Pardavila, executive producer of the Scott & Todd in the Morning show, which was interviewing Matthews, contacted Mongero for a follow-up on-air interview to get the other side of the story. On June 4, Mongero relayed his recollections of growing up friends with Matthews.

"We grew up together in elementary school and middle school, so we were in a tiny town together," Mongero said in the radio interview. "I knew him pretty good as a childhood friend, and then of course he moved away - I think it was the eighth grade, his dad passed away - and he moved to South Africa."

During his 10-year class reunion, he said, one of Matthews' former girlfriends came up to him and asked, "What do you think of Dave Matthews?"

"And I'm like, ‘What about Dave Matthews?' And she said, ‘You know, the Dave Matthews Band?' said Mongero. "So, that was pretty awesome, actually, how that all went down."

Ten year later Mongero had a similar conversation at another class reunion, when another of Matthews' former girlfriends mentioned how she had seen Matthews backstage at one of his concerts.

"She came up to me and she said, ‘You'll never believe this, but of all the people ... the person he talked about was you," Mongero said.

Apparently, it was not long after Matthews had seen the episode of "America's Funniest Home Videos," and all Matthews could talk about was his childhood friend, Trent Mongero.

Mongero said he got the name of Matthews' publicist and sent him a picture of one of their elementary school classes, along with a note explaining how he wasn't too familiar with the band's music - he'd only heard his songs on the radio - and about a week later, received every one of the Dave Matthews Band's CDs.

"I just saw him in concert, and that's why this is so surreal. I flew up to Boston to see him in Fenway, of all places," said Mongero, who formerly played with the Atlanta Braves organization.

His phone number has been given to Matthews' "people" by the radio station, but there's no word yet on any official connection between the two old friends.

"He was awesome in concert; very inspirational to see an old classmate, watching him just getting it done up there in Fenway Park."

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