Six Degrees

I have been reflecting on Duncan J. Watt’s book “Six Degrees” lately. I actually haven’t read the book but I understand the concept: that we are only six ‘degrees’ or connections from any other person on this planet. I’ve been thinking about this because of a series of serendipitous events that I played a role in.

1. A fellow Yukon blogger (whom I won’t identify because I haven’t asked her permission to do so) and I met through Urban Yukon several months ago and started writing back and forth. We even met for coffee one morning. Recently I wrote a post about my brother Roy, who is a musician. I added a link to his web site and samples of his work, which this fellow blogger checked out.

It was then that she realized she knew Roy. Her mother had given her one of Roy’s CDs. Apparently her mom had been good friends with Roy’s wife Susan. As a child, this blogger visited Susan, Roy and their two boys at their home in Toronto. When this blogger was getting ready to move to the Yukon, she was given an email address (a friend of a friend kind of thing) which turned out to be my husband’s address. For some reason this blogger and my husband never connected, but lo and behold, a few year’s later, she and I found one another. Isn’t that bizarre? Now I almost feel that we’re relatives in a strange way.

2. I recently attended a work-related meeting in Fredericton and one evening, all the delegates had dinner together. I sat beside a woman from Regina, and we started talking about travel. She was getting ready to take a trip to Scotland. I told her that if there was one place she must see, it was the Orkneys. She got very excited, saying that indeed WAS the one place she wanted to see because her relatives came from there.

I started telling her how astonished I had been when I noticed the very same bead-work patterns on the slippers from Old Crow and and those in a museum I visited in Stromness. She was fascinated to learn about how this could be. I explained that whalers from the Orkneys travelled to the Northern Yukon, intermarried, and, in many cases, took their wives back to Scotland.

Then I asked, “What is your last name?” Well, it turns out it is Linklater, which is a prominent family name in Old Crow. In fact the chief of the First Nation is a Linklater. Now this woman was beside herself with excitement. It wouldn’t surprise me if she comes to the Yukon some day to try to find some of her relatives. Fascinating, no?


One thought on “Six Degrees

  1. Along the same lines, I had a dinner invitation when I lived in Scotland, at the house of an acquaintance. I knew everyone there but a young woman came in late and was introduced as someone staying at the Foundation who had been invited so she could meet people. She sat beside me on the arm of the couch.

    It was obvious that she had a Canadian accent but more than that, it was an English Montreal accent (hard to tell unless that’s where you come from). I asked where she was from and it came out that not only was she from Montreal but went to my high school several years behind me.

    Now what are the odds of that happening?


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