Saturday, April 28, 2012

Six Degrees of Karen Rhodes

From watching the Kevin Bacon/Kyra Sedgwick episode of Who Do You Think You Are? if from nothing else, we all are pretty well familiar with the concept of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."  Yesterday afternoon and last night I got two good doses of evidence of "Six Degrees of Karen Rhodes."

In the hallway in the arena at the University of North Florida, where a bunch of us soon-to-be graduates were waiting for time to line up and filter in to the arena floor where our chairs were, I made the acquaintance of two young men, Ray and Luis.  It started out with joking around about the tassels on our mortarboards, and led further to our accomplishments and future plans.  The conversation got around to the imminent departure of Dr. J. Michael Francis from UNF.  As some of you may have already read in my blog Clio's Daughter, he's going to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.  Ray said he felt like he'd been blindsided, because as an archaeology major, he wanted to work up a program in historical archaeology under Dr. Francis's guidance.  When I mentioned that I plan on following Dr. Francis down to USFSP, Ray and Luis both said, "You're the one he was talking about!"  Seems that Dr. Francis had said quite a bit about me.  So sitting next to these two young men during the commencement, I was subjected to a stream of patter from Ray.  It was hilarious.  Even better, Ray had picked up his young son (5 years old) from his grandparents, seated in the audience, and had the lad on his lap -- and took him up on the stage with him.  That was just wonderful.  But there I was, with a connection with these young men and with Dr. Francis giving me an earful!

The second dose of "Six Degrees of Karen Rhodes" came that evening, at the party my husband and I hosted at Athens Café in the San Jose area of Jacksonville.  We had 22 people there (including us), and our assortment of friends is such that one commented that if all of us were stranded on a desert island, we would find food to cook and enjoy, materials with which to make shelter and clothing if needed, and materials to make a boat so we could return to civilization!  One friend came by himself as his wife had to work (we missed her).  Another friend came late, because her husband has been hospitalized for the past month or so, and is now at a rehabilitation center.  Turns out these two (and their spouses) have known each other for years!  They had lost touch, but now, because of their friendship with me and my husband, they have now been put in contact again.

It's a small world indeed.

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