Everyone knows about Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, right? The idea that everyone is six steps away from anyone else in the world. I’m convinced that as the world has continued to shrink, six degrees has dwindled to something more like two degrees of separation. It seems to me that at any moment, I appear to be connected to most every person I come into contact with, and there’s very little separation. My husband thinks this is naturally occurring as I morph more and more into my mother. I think we are all connected, we just don’t take the time to find out.
I have two recent examples to prove my theory.
Example One. This picture was taken at the most recent Hemingway-Pfeiffer Writer Retreat I attended in Piggott, Arkansas last November. I met several new (to me) writers including Ruth, the lady standing beside me.
Ruth and I chatted quite a bit throughout the week. She lived in Little Rock. I had just moved to Fayetteville from Dallas. Somehow Baylor University came up.
I graduated from Baylor, I said. My daughter graduated from Baylor, she said. We discovered our Baylor years overlapped. Small world, we agreed.
A few weeks later, Ruth called me. Her daughter read through the anthology published after our retreat and recognized my name.
My daughter, Anne, roomed with you one summer at Baylor, Ruth said. And of course then it all came back. Anne and I were roommates in Alexander Hall during the summer Lady Diana married Prince Charles.
She (Anne not Lady Di) had long blonde hair, was an English major who planned to go to law school. And she did. She’s an attorney in Little Rock. WHAT are the odds I would attend a writer retreat with my Baylor summer roommate’s mother thirty-three years later?
Last week, I spent a few days in Texas. (If you missed my trip, you can catch up HERE but this isn’t a sequel so don’t feel compelled, even though I always appreciate the page views.) While in Dallas, I went for my annual physical because I don’t have a new doctor in Fayetteville yet. I’ve been going to my Dallas doctor for years, and my Dallas doctor has had the same nurse for years. The odd thing about this is that after all this time, I learned that my doctor’s nurse is originally from Arkansas. When she said, Oh I’m from Arkansas and I said, yeah, where? and she said well I lived in Blytheville, went to school in Luxora and was born in Osceola but I’m sure you’ve never heard of those towns, I nearly fell off the table. Because I was born in Osceola and had friends in Luxora and know Blytheville as well as any place on earth. Before I left, we talked about friends of friends, American Greetings (where lots of people worked), Big Star (the best grocery store), Erman Lane (the street to drive to get anywhere), and Bobby George’s liquor store (ahem)—things no one except people from there would dare know about. The same doctor (Dr. Fairley) delivered both of us only a few years apart. He was THE doctor in town.
So perhaps right here, right now in the comment section of this post, we should all figure out how we are connected, because we probably are. And probably by way less than six degrees of separation. It’s a crazy small world, don’t you agree?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
“Life’s journey is one big path with series of events. All these events are connected.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita