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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? I can do a lot better than that. Top this!

Perhaps you don't know what Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is. 

A little background: In 1984, actor Kevin Bacon made Footloose, a very popular movie with the youth of the day and still a television rerun from time to time. He was just 24 then and has since proven himself as a good actor and a talented musician, but more than that, he has acquired a touch of cult power as he is likeable and has maintained a youthful vigor through the years. See for yourself: Here's the last dance scene of the movie.

Incidentally, if you haven't seen Footloose twice or more, or are looking for a movie to entertain your children who have no idea what 1984 looked like in a small town, with a very satisfying ending, show them Footloose and enjoy it yourself again. ( It is suitable for youth as I recall but check the rating to be sure.)

 Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon was a parlor game that evolved on the theory that everyone on this earth is connected to everyone else by no more that six people or less. For example, I am connected to Sister Theresa by only one person... my mom met Sister Theresa when she was on a special visit to the United States. And because of that connection, I was connected to the Pope of the time by only two people... and thus I am connected to some of the most high profile leaders of the world and of course, to everyone any of them knew. So you could say, I am well connected.

But Here's something that is somewhat mind-boggling. I am also connected to someone born in 1818... 201 years ago. And thus connected to any number of people who lived after that. Hmm, surely Abe Lincoln but I don't know the number..

My friend Ray Lambert is 98 and as sharp a person in mind and body as you will ever expect to meet at that age. His dad lived to the age of 102. So that alone means I can go back 200 years to find the ties I probably have. And you can too. kind of mind boggling isn't it?

Ray Lambert
But that's not all. You must know more about Ray Lambert and why I am proud to say I am a friend, even more than him just being a wonderful person. Ray is  a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army as a medic. In his service, he is a hero of the highest level. Through many ground battles, Ray also made three treacherous water landings during his service, the last being D Day on the beaches of Normandy, June 6, 1944--an epic battle that was the theme of Tom Hanks' movie, Saving Private Ryan. The Allies suffered 209,000 wounded, missing or killed at Normandy.

Ray was in the first wave on Omaha Beach that morning. His LST suffered enormous casualties but Ray was on that beach administering to all he could reach having been wounded three times himself before he could not continue. Here is a brief snippet of Ray telling about a man shot in the head as he was tending to his other wounds.  I guarantee it will bring a renewed respect for those who fought and died for our freedom.

So, fact is, we are all connected by this thin tether to almost everyone else on earth and many more going  back to the beginning of time. We may be seven billion and counting but if we think we are the big shots, just take a look at all the stars in our sky and remember, that is only a billionth of the universe. If we continue to battle to the end, then theoretically there will be only ONE.... and it won't be you or me.

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