Friday, October 29, 2010

Small World

Yesterday, a university archivist sent an email to me noting that she'd found a 1968 news clipping while perusing the papers of Stephen Shadegg, the manager of Barry Goldwater's Senate campaigns, and was wondering if I am that "Michael Wade."

I am.

It was a reminder of how connected we are and how few things in the past are really past. As it turned out, I had another connection to the archivist via a friend who lives near the border and who is a historian when he's not doing business in Mexico. The rule of six degrees of separation sometimes seems that it can be reduced to two or three.

Quick aside and true story: A geography professor at the University of Arizona used to impress his classes with his extraordinary knowledge of various places. One class decided to stump him by asking if he knew anything about an obscure village in Russia. He smiled and then began to describe the town square, the surrounding buildings, and the local terrain. It turned out that he'd been stationed in the village during the foreign intervention in Russia following the Revolution.

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