The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Theory
First of all, thanks to all of you who have called or emailed. I have not been sick, have not been away from Brigadoon on an exotic vacation (boy do I wish!), nor have I been short on any good stories about my guests … we have just been VERY busy and I have not had the time to write my favorite guest vignettes. I appreciate the overwhelming concerns expressed, and I am sure you are glad to know that I am, once again, back online with my humorous encounters!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been hosting a number of anniversary and honeymoon couples – yes, June must be the most popular month in which to get married. We have been celebrating in style with our guests of honor:

25th Anniversary for Janet & Ken of Manchester, MO
50th Anniversary for Bob & Donna of Perryburg, OH
1st Anniversary for Pete & Tracee of Chicago, IL
27th Anniversary for Laura & Les of Brooklyn, MI
20th Anniversary for Tom & Peggy of St. Joseph, MI
Honeymoon for James & Andrea of Waterford, MI
24th Anniversary for Bob & Betty of Dewitt, MI
25th Anniversary for Bruce & Kyle of Galien, MI
50th Anniversary for Jim & Charlene of Plainwell, MI
15th Anniversary for Jolene & Denis of Sault Ste Marie, MI
Honeymoon for Brandise & Jason of Ft. Walton Beach, FL
29th Anniversary for Sue & Robert of Alpena, MI
40th Anniversary for Gene & Ellen of South Bend, IN
36th Anniversary for Justin & Nancy of Dowagiac, MI

Another new tradition has taken place at Brigadoon. The dining room table in the turret in our front room is now home to our ongoing jigsaw puzzle – and I didn’t realize how many of you are avid puzzlers until we decided to place one there for fun a few weekends ago! We are now actively working on #3, and I must say that it has been a delight to have guests sit down with a cup of coffee and place a few pieces before settling down to our signature breakfasts … seems I have a little competition for my cooking!

The mention of the new puzzling craze at Brigadoon leads me to this week’s story. Last weekend, Justin & Nancy had come to visit from the southwest side of the state to celebrate their 36th anniversary, which was special because Justin had kept the trip a complete surprise from Nancy. As I was preparing crepes for breakfast the next morning, I was chatting with Justin, who was focused on completing our second puzzle. As usual, he asked me about the people I have met and the interesting guests I’ve had the pleasure to host, and the conversation led to "who was the most unusual guest you’ve met?" As you can imagine, that is a hard question to answer – so I opted to tell him about the unusual email I had recently received. Kay, a past guest, sent me a wonderful email about life and its blessings, and I just loved it. What was really unique about it, however, was that I took note of the progression from "whom" Kay had received the original email. You see, her dad had sent the email to her, and a couple/friends had sent it to him, and that couple had copied the original message to many other names … all which happen to be friends that I grew up with in high school! How could I be so sure? I recognized Ray & Lillian, who had copied Steve & Nancy, Tim, Jim, Sharon (I was the maid of honor in her wedding) & Dan, and Charles – all names that I readily recognized from their email. Now here is firsthand proof of the "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" theory in real life – and it was happening to me! Needless to say, I categorized it as one of my most unusual guest-occurrences, but it doesn’t stop there …

What led this to even closer "unusualness" was that Justin also knows this family. As I described the group of people from the email, he asked about the couple who sent them (I had told them they were from Grand Rapids), and if Ray was a prominent heart surgeon. Well, I must tell you that I almost dropped the tray of crepes right then, as he began to tell me how he knew this family. Justin is a college professor and a minister, who in fact had many of the kids (yes, the ones I grew up with) at a summer camp in mid-Michigan. The more we talked, the more people we had in common from church, the company where my dad worked, and other kids who I grew up with … and yes, you’ve guessed it, we figured out that I also attended the camp where Justin was a counselor. The six degrees just got a lot closer.

As I finish this email, I hope that Kay considers sending this back to her dad, who I hope will also forward it on to the family with whom I grew up. It would be great to hear from the friends of my past, and to let them know that Justin & Nancy are healthy and happy. And who knows, maybe somewhere down the line, I will find myself six degrees away from the real Kevin Bacon.

Oh, and by the way, amongst all of this enlightening conversation, Justin easily finished our second puzzle. Thanks Justin!

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage." -Lao-Tzu

Until next week!

Sherree Hyde
Brigadoon Bed & Breakfast