Narrowing the degrees apart

?I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The president of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names. I find it (A) extremely comforting that we?re so close, and (B) like Chinese water torture that we’re so close because you have to find the right six people to make the right connection…. I am bound to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people.? ?John Guare, playwright

I am four degrees from George Clooney. The average is six, as in the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. If that doesn?t sound familiar, it?s the idea that anyone involved in a Hollywood movie can be linked to actor Kevin Bacon by a maximum of six people.

This concept is a form of the ?six degrees of separation? theory where everyone on earth can be linked by six or less acquaintances.

In other words, I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows SOMEONE?S NAME HERE, or Kevin Bacon.

On Dec. 25 a movie produced by degree four George Clooney will open in theaters. This has absolutely nothing to do with me. Unless I really twist and stretch reality (which I’m going to do), then it kind of does. Enough, at least, to taut my four-degree status and consider cutting out early from Christmas dinner to catch a matinee.

Degree 1 is an Okla?homa author named Molly Levite Griffis. The company I work for publishes a weekly newspaper and a monthly shopper, which most people in our area know. But we also print other things like magazines, yearbooks, programs, catalogs, brochures and books.

And the latest book in the hopper?nearly hot off the press?is a novel by Griffis. She has published several books over the years and the second I was able to be a part of.

Degree 2 is Molly?s lifelong friend and fellow Okla?homa author, Billie Letts.

Degree 3 is Billie Letts? son Tracey, a Tony-award and Pulitzer-prize winning playwright. In 2007 his semi-autobiographical Broadway play called ?August: Osage County,? about a slightly or not-so-slightly dysfunctional family, debuted.

Degree 4?back to Mr. Clooney. ?August: Osage County? was scripted into a movie, the one he has produced and will open on Christmas Day. In relation, Molly?s new book, titled ?Welcome to Whizbang Ruby Trotter,? is set in an oil-boom town in the same county of Osage, Oklahoma. Today, it?s less than a ghost town, but the story Molly captured in her book proves it was a thriving and slightly off-kilter place in its time.

It?s fun to see a book morph from manuscript to printed paperback, and just as fun to connect a book to a movie through the people who weave pieces of facts through their fiction. And knowing I beat the average degrees of separation to the likes of George Clooney?well, that?s not so bad either.

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