Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two degrees of separation

I’ve just read a book on the Donner Party, and that time seems so incredibly long ago, and so foreign. Yet I realized suddenly that I knew someone (my grandfather) who knew someone (his grandmother) who came out to California from Pennsylvania around that time, although she came by ship, not wagon train. Two leaps from me to pioneer times.

Recently I was looking for the grave of one of the Donner Party (Nancy Williamson, nee Graves) who is buried in Sebastopol. It turned out that I had a different sort of chain of connection. A friend of a friend was married to one of her family, and in finding his grave, I found hers. This is my photo of it. So long ago, so distant and foreign, and yet one of the unfortunate group lies buried two blocks from my house.

We have connections all around us to all sorts of things we don’t yet realize!

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