I have always been fascinated with the theory of 6 degrees of separation. My dad totally misunderstands the theory and thinks it means a loop, but I know it means how many degrees of separation you are from any other person on Earth. I find it a little hard to believe that I am 6 degrees from someone in a remote African village, but it is certainly a lot easier in this age of world travel and world volunteerism. But what I do know is I have some pretty crazy connections to famous people in our world.
I don’t personally know anyone really famous. I mean sure, I met George H. W. Bush and shook his hand, but I certainly don’t know him. The most famous people I know are Gary (who passed in 2007) and Bill from Rosenshontz, Steven and Peter from Gould & Stearns. I also know Gary’s son, Penn, who sings with the Tuft’s Beelzebubs and sang Sweet Caroline on The Sing Off‘s first season. And okay, my former neighbor’s son (who grew up in my town and went to my high school) has starred in shows on Broadway and a woman who grew up in my town won the Nobel Peace Prize.
However, I do have some other interesting (to me) connections in the 6 degrees sense.
My dad’s childhood best friend married a woman who has worked with deathrow inmates in LA. Not just any deathrow inmates, but some of the most famous killers in California and US history. She was hired in the late 1970s to help prevent suicides on death row. There was a serial killer who committed suicide while on death row and the LA county system didn’t want that to happen again. She has written a pretty interesting book about her experience in the prison system. The twist to the story is that the killer who took his own life? One of his victims left a wife and 2 sons. That woman and her 2 boys moved to my hometown and are very good friends with my family.
From college I have some crazy connections. First of all, Dave Matthews’ wife was two years ahead of me at my college. I didn’t really know her, but of course since it was a tiny school I knew who she was. One year she and I lived in the same dorm. I guess he used to come visit all the time, but I never saw him. He played a free concert for us in the spring and that was pretty awesome. That same year a good friend lived with a transfer student. That transfer student went on to marry one of Ted Turner’s sons.
It isn’t really so much that I want to know famous people, or that I think name-dropping makes me cooler, I have just always made connections between people and things in order to better understand my world. I think it just makes it easier for me to sort things out when I can make connections. The music teacher at my school? Her step dad was the minister at a church in my town. Her sister and I do theater together. That sister’s mother-in-law works for my dad. Oh, and one of the bridesmaids in that sister’s wedding was in my Lamaze class. A friend with a baby born just before Tumblebug? I met her because she is my sister’s best friend’s brother’s wife’s sister. I also taught the younger siblings of those 2 sisters. Maybe it is just growing up in a small town. Was I the only one who understood the girl from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?
Economics Teacher: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
Simone: Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.
Economics Teacher: Thank you, Simone.
Simone: No problem whatsoever.