Saturday, January 8, 2011

Degrees of Separation

I feel a little bit like I've been cheating on my blog lately by spending too much time with my Facebook page. What does that say about the state of things anyway?!?

At any rate, it's been a long time since I've posted on my blog but I had something I wanted to share and I knew that I'd never be able to fit it into FB. Facebook forces you into a marvelous economy with words that sometimes doesn't mesh with my Hedspeth talk-iness. Anyone who remembers my father or my Uncle James know that a Hedspeth can talk the hind legs off a billy goat and I know I'm often guilty of that. And, if you know my cousin Jim, you know that this talking thing did NOT skip a generation!

I've always been fascinated by the idea of "Six Degrees of Separation." I'm not sure I completely buy it but I DO believe in what I consider the Southern version of that which is if you put two Southerners in a room together and give them ten minutes, they will find 3 people they know in common. Try it sometimes; it works.

I had a most serendipitous encounter while reading a book by the wonderful North Carolina writer, Marianne Gingher. It's called "A Girl's Life" and is basically about her childhood and growing up in Greensboro. I love her book and was really enjoying this one as I read it because she wrote of so many universal experiences in a young girl's life. As I was reading along and starting a new chapter, my mouth literally dropped open. I don't have the book here with me right now so I can't quote it directly but she starts out by saying that one of the highlights she remembered from her pre-teen years was being asked to be a junior bridesmaid in her distant cousin Billy Jenkins' wedding to Autry Brown in Potecasi, NC. All the locals here in Northampton county know why I was stunned since we probably all know Billy and Autry Jenkins and have driven through the sleepy patch of road that is Potecasi hundreds of times in our lives. My next thunderbolt was in realizing that my father photographed this wedding which means that I have the negatives. A quick tour through the dusty ledger books delivered the precious envelope to me, and I've printed out a few photos from this wedding that show a young girl who I assume is Marianne Gingher. I absolutely love looking at old wedding photographs. Look at all the details that place it in time -- the bridesmaids' hats, the men in white dinner jackets,the tablecloth -- it's all wonderful. Thought some of you might enjoy seeing it, too. And, it was too long to put on Facebook.