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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Updated on December 10, 2011

December 8, 2011 - Daniel's "GoodBye" Party

Al, me, Daniel.  Several friends from our circle of friends in SE Kansas, gather at the Booth for a last group dinner with our dear friend Daniel
Al, me, Daniel. Several friends from our circle of friends in SE Kansas, gather at the Booth for a last group dinner with our dear friend Daniel | Source
Gaytina and Daniel
Gaytina and Daniel
Patsy, me, Derrill, Linda, Marti
Patsy, me, Derrill, Linda, Marti | Source
Linda, Daniel, Gaytina, Carolyn, Tommy, Marti
Linda, Daniel, Gaytina, Carolyn, Tommy, Marti | Source
Group photo
Group photo

Six Degrees of Separation

While in SE Kansas, I’ve been fortunate to meet some really wonderful, quality people.

One of these; one of my very favorites; is Daniel. Daniel moved here approximately 2 years after I did, from St. Louis via S. California. He had several careers; all of which were fulfilling and successful. When I met Daniel, he had just been appointed President of the local community college which is a 2 year educational facility.

It is said that everyone is separated no more than 6 degrees from anyone else, anywhere in the world. Kevin Bacon brought this to our attention. And, guess what! It’s true…at least; it is certainly true in my life.

Case in point: my former renters who lived in the main home in Napa and remained for 4 ½ years were directly related, through her acting career, to Kevin Bacon. She starred with him in Tremors and Tremors II. Then, years later, through a mutual acquaintance, she was introduced to me and became my renter. Less than 6 degrees, actually!

Present thinking, as calculated by a respected “think tank,” has lessened the degrees of separation to 5. ? (something…)..less than the original 6 degrees. According to FaceBook, which has succeeded in bringing so many disparite personalities together from all points; all walks of life and all areas on the globe; the degree of separation is now believed to be 4.74

Well, I can qualify that the distance is, indeed, lessening.

My very dear friend, Sherrell, whom I met through another woman when I first settled in Kansas, owned a beautiful Tudor home; constructed of red brick on the exterior and beautifully appointed inside. She considered herself a designer (which, of course, she was), and her decorative touches added so much to the fine home. High ceilings, crown molding, antique stairway, crystal knobs set in bronze plates, beveled mirrors and fine tile work in the bathrooms added to the exquisite character of her home.

Only months after we met; for personal reasons having to do with the life threatening medical situation concerning her daughter; Sherrell had to leave SE Kansas. She placed her home on the market - during the height of the real estate boom - and in no time at all; she had a buyer. Sherrell moved to Houston to be with her family. Shortly, the new owner of her lovely home moved in.

Every summer during the celebration of the birth of our nation, the city of Independence hosts a week long non stop wild and wacky explosive party. During this time, homeowners, business owners, sports teams in their fields of dreams and others shoot off locally purchased fireworks with abandon. There are no restrictions and no limits. I've never seen anything like it. The city itself, through donations given year long as well as city coffers dedicated to the festivities, treats citizens and visitors alike to an amazing display of color, movement and sound. Everyone gathers in their yards, local eateries and the city park to view the spectacular light show. Along with these offerings are individual homeowners who host their own parties. Derrill, another great friend, has an annual event to which he invites half the town.

July 4th of 2008, Daniel arrived at Derrill's annual, huge, celebration that is an endemic part of Independence, Kansas. Being aptly named; this city lives up to every preconceived notion of what “Independence” means in this country. Locals carry the theme to the extreme!

Having just been appointed as President of the college; it was only natural that Daniel be included in Derrill’s event.

Introductions were done and, happily I found myself sitting very near Daniel while we watched the fireworks blasting in the sky.

Now, unlike most places I’ve lived during my life, this area allows just about any and all expressions of patriotic demonstration. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing the first time in 2007 and, to this date; it is pretty unbelievable.

Individuals, home owners, businesses, the City itself as well as sports clubs in their fields of dreams; ALL shoot off fire works on the 4th . Not only that; this city allows people to fire off crackers on their lawns, in the street and parks and anywhere one wishes. All night long, flashing, colorful displays of light amidst loud BOOMS and BANGS resound. It’s crazy!!!

Each year, as we depart Derrill’s house at around midnight, flaming rockets shoot across our path, right down the middle of the street or arcing high up and, then straight down to the center line. It’s like being in the middle of a war zone. One must be extremely careful while driving in Independence, Kansas on the 4th of July.

So, each year, the mutually owned huge grassy area which is the back yard of Derrill’s home and that of about 7 others, is aflame with ignited combustibles exploding in the night.

There, with my second drink in hand, along with dozens of others, we sat in our lawn chairs after a fabulous outdoor dinner, watching the entire place go wild.

Daniel and I struck up a conversation and, during this; I was, once again, reminded of the SIX degrees of separation.

This time, as with my other situation; the nearness of connected yet unfamiliar persons, became clear.

Daniel had bought Sherrel’s home!



As he described the location and attributes of his beloved new house, it became easy to see that he had, indeed, become the new owner of the gorgeous Tudor home once owned by my dear friend.

I told him my story of friendship with Sherrell and this kicked off the best friendship I’ve been lucky to share here in SE Kansas.

Daniel had lived in California for years, trying all kinds of entrepreneurial exercises including catering, teaching, management in the educational field and more. I could relate to his take on life as it was how I’d also approached my employment career history. We both loved cooking, California and classical music.

Long story short; Daniel and I became fast friends with a relationship which has thrived over the three years he lived here.

Sadly, due to circumstances beyond his control; Daniel found that he had to leave SE Kansas for another state, altogether….Alabama!

So, last night we had a “Good-Bye” party for Daniel. It was great. Most of the gang was there to wish him well. It felt like ‘the good ole days,‘ when we all gathered at Uncle Jack’s restaurant every Friday night to enjoy great company and wonderful cuisine.

As with all things; things change. Uncle Jack’s is no longer open, and many of us have gone our own way. I don’t know if I will, truly, ever see some of these friends again…only time will tell. Though I think of her often; Sherrell and I are not in contact as much as we were when she first departed. Life, being as it tends to be; I expect with time, we’ll lose touch and continue on our separate paths.

I won’t lose touch with Daniel, though. Ours is a particularly close and empathetic bond. He, Al and I had met several times over the last week for dinner and conversation; at the local Library and also talked endlessly on the phone. Loosing Daniel is a sad event but, amazingly; his departure parallels mine as I will be returning to California, permanently, in the next several months. So, we’re both exiting the Bible Belt at approximately the same time.

Incredible coincidental life paths!

Six degrees of separation…Sherrell - Daniel - Me. Crazy, huh?


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    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Really amazing. I hadn't heard of this 6 degree theory before. Beautiful hub. And I'm so happy to read on your Profile page that you have started a non-profit. You're following your heart -- so happy for you.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi there Perspycarcious! Well, you've just proven my point and underscored the fact...we are all interrelated in much closer proximity than we might guess...amazing that, so many miles and cultures apart; you made such an amazing and uncanny connection...I am so interested in this kind of thing; it simply proves to me that there is so much going on...once I read that a single atom is shared and "experienced"(touched) by every single living entity through out time; that it continues to circulate endlessly...another thought: the idea that, should all the parts of a watch which have been completely disassembled..were to be put into a container and shaked continually...that, theoretically; the watch would, at some point, reassemble exactly as necessary to be in running order...amazing!! And, then, of course, it would become separated and the many parts would float and jingle until, again, reassembly would be complete...and repeat in infinite fashion...WOW! i love thoughts and considerations such as this. ( I know that much is lost in my translation but, i hope you see the point) Thank you so much for a great, fascinating comment which is fodder for fun thoughts to this writer!!! Kathy

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Working in the US Embassy in what used to be called Rangoon, we were coming up on a holiday and a department officer was arriving when the embassy would be closed. I met him at his hotel and drove him to my home for a meal and a few games of cribbage. As we set the cribbage board between us, he asked "Where did you get this cribbage board?" I told him my dad had had it made for me in Kittery, Maine. He said, "I thought so! My dad made this cribbage board we are using here in Rangoon, Burma." He himself had lived in my small hometown of Eliot, Maine (though we only met each other for the first time on the other side of the world) and there we sat together, strangers whose dads knew each other and whose sons were using their cribbage board! Indeed a small world.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      hello and HI! friend...well, your comment is interesting. Thank you for visiting.

    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 6 years ago from India


    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Dim! We're keeping in touch...I don't ever want to lose this great friend. Thank you for the kind words of understanding how important friends and family are...and, for me, this includes my furry family, too. Regards!! Kathy

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Well 4th of July sounds like a Blast. (no pun intended)

      Wonderful hub, reminded me of our family and friend gatherings, bitter sweet.

      loved all the pics. They made it come alive.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi Mar!!!!! So long a time since I've had any time to visit and comment and...R EAD!!! here on HP. I hope yours was a fabulous and wondrous Christmas and that your New Year has begun just as you would like. I miss you and everyone here...soon...soon, (I hope) there will be more time.

      Your friend, Kathy

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Kathy,

      Wanted to stop by to say Merry Christmas, hope all is well, sorry to have been such a stranger with all of the holiday madness/ finishing up school for the semester...

      thinking of you and wishing you a safe trip in the new year. Love, Maria

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hello my dear friend Sharyn...FIRST of all! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! Hope yours are filled with love and laughter and very good times!

      Final move!? Yikes! Well, I'm shopping for a reliable "pre-owned" small SUV to begin moving the furry babies...and, hopefully, just after New Year's Day...I'm off to the West Coast. A very wonderful friend of mine has fized (actually, replaced COMPLETELY!) the roof on the cabin where many of my kitties will live...and all is proceeding on a kind of schedule. thank you so much for the sweet comment, visit and well wishes. Your friend, Kathy

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Kathy,

      I hope all is going well this holiday season for you. I loved reading your story here. So many people that have touched your life, and you touched theirs I'm sure. I'm sure you will try to keep in touch with those who mean so much to you. When is your actual "final move?" What a process it has been. Wish you the best always.


    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Cardisa (love the new pictures..many sides to a wonderful writer!) I agree with you; I, too, hate goodbyes...there is something about the secruity and comfort of having a loved one near...even when/if we don't see them as much as we'd like...just knowing they are, it is very hard to know that Daniel will be over 2,000 miles from me when I return to the W. Coast. Ah, well....thank you for visiting and commenting.

      My dear Ruby...your comments brighten my dan. Yes, friendship is precious and I sure plan to keep in touch w/Daniel and others, too. Same here on HP's....sometimes, so much time goes by and all I have time to do is comment to comments...I plan to take hours and hours when I'm home and back online at catch up w/everyone and the fabulous hubs I'm missing right now. Always appreciate your kind comments, Ruby.

      Sally...such a sweet comment. Thank you so much. Yes, the world is growing smaller and smaller w/the advent of technology and social networking are so right. So appreciate your visit.

      My dear Augustine...oh, you do go on!! Just Lucky, I guess!! Thank you always and always.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      How do you meet such interesting people?! Must be your sparkling personality. You throw the best parties!

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Stories like these make us realize how small our world really is . . . especially when people like you have such big hearts and big hugs!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank's for sharing another phenomenal event in your life. Friendship is precious and hopefully lasts a lifetime. Thank you. Have a merry Christmas...Peace

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I hate saying goodbyes but I get a party like that kinda makes it easier. With so many people around you don't get to cry. Keep in touch because real friends are hard to come by.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      DIOGENES! Disparate it is! You know, I meant to look up the proper spelling and just forgot to....not too unusual an occurrence these days...thank you for the spelling can be atrocious! So appreciate your visit.

      Writer, you are so right...I shall make every effort to remain in touch w/these wonderful friends.

      Hi Helen! Your comments are always so good to see and I thank you for this nice one. So beautiful in sentiment and truth and I thank you for this, too!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Hi Kathy, lovely to read one of your hubs again and this one is awesome! I hadn't really paid much attention previously to the 6 degrees - this is really a fascinating concept! I'll need to read more about this.

      It's always sad when friends part and life changes. When people and places that we have loved either move on or close. But Kathy often as well this opens up new pathways to other, even better things in the future. In addition when we do find those special friendships, no matter the distance, they still keep as fresh and strong as if the person was with us physically. They are tied to us spiritually and nothiing, but nothing can remove that. I think you Al and Daniel have that kind of eternal bond - a very beautiful thing indeed. So no matter what state you and Al are in compared to Daniel, he will actually be right with you!

      A very beautiful hub Kathy. Voted up!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      I wonder if Daniel finds it hard to handle too much "fame" (for want of a better word). So he has headed for quieter waters.

      By the way, in para. 5, did you mean "desperate" or "disparate?" Both are true I think!

      Nice chatty hub from someeone with a full and rewarding life...Rx

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Do keep in touch with your friends otherwise you might get lonely. Voted up and interesting.


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