Six Degrees Of Separation

Atlantans are avid travelers both domestic and internationally. You never know when you will meet someone from your adopted hometown that reinforces the concept “Six Degrees Of Separation” Allow me to share an experience on a recent trip to Palo Alto, California to attend my grandson’s graduation from Stanford University.

My day began at 5:30 am EDT when I arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for my flight to San Francisco (SF). The flight out west was smooth arriving in the SF Airport ahead of the 10:39 am Pacific Time projected. Upon picking up my luggage, I headed for the Super Shuttle to my hotel in Palo Alto. During the ride, my daughter texted that she was at the Stanford campus taking care of last minute details for the Sunday graduation ceremony. Additionally, she suggested that I text her when I was ready to join the rest of the family on campus.

The campus is huge in comparison to most college campuses. When I departed the rental van, I realized that it was almost 12 hours factoring for the time change since I’d eaten breakfast. I knew I had to find a place to get lunch so I quickly scanned for the closest restaurants.

I chose a salad & sandwich shop where I could buy a healthy lunch. The line was already stretching into the common area where graduates & their families were eating outside.

When I approached the line I happened to comment to a gentleman standing in front of me that I was starved after my long trip. He insisted that I go in front of him. I thanked him and we began a conversation that I must share with you.

Here is the long & the short of our conversation, he was attending the same graduation of his son who was obtaining an undergraduate degree. I shared with him why I was at Stanford then asked him where he was from. You will not believe this but he was from Suwanee, Georgia and he was a professor at Georgia State University! I commented that one of my best friends teaches there. He asked who it was and told him. All of a sudden his face turned beet red. I thought maybe I had said something wrong. He then proceeded to tell me that my friend was responsible for bringing him to Georgia State. What a small world!

When my daughter came to check and see how I was doing. I introduced her to the gentleman. She gave me the weirdest look. How could I know so much about this gentleman in such a short time? I know what she was thinking, “There goes mom being overly friendly to stranger!” When I explained the details of our brief conversation, she understood why.

I am a true believer in the concept of “Six Degrees of Separation”

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Gail Rockburne
Gail Rockburne
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