JIM'S LETTER HOME: Six degrees of Antarctica

JIM'S LETTER HOME: Six degrees of Antarctica

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Have you heard of the game, Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon? Since Kevin Bacon has been in so many movies it is said that you can connect him to any other movie actor within six people. He has acted with someone that has acted with someone else who has acted with someone else. You will get from Kevin Bacon to every other actor in Hollywood within six names. Now, how far can you get to people far and wide?

If you have done much traveling you have probably met someone who had a connection with your home community/life. Quite often it is probably closer than six people. I had one such meeting during college. I had gone to bootcamp with a Marine from a small town in Upper Michigan. I was also from a small town and didn’t give much thought of having another other connection with him in life. As it turns out, when I went to college I was in school with another individual from the same small town in Upper Michigan. They were in high school together. Another time, I had gone to San Antonio with my wife and her parents. While we were at a restaurant, my mother-in-law ran into the medical director at her facility back in Iowa.

So, I come down to McMurdo Station, Antarctica where there  are fewer than 1,000 people. Today’s population is listed at 790. Iowa makes up 0.97% of the U.S. population. If there is an even distribution of people there could be seven people from Iowa. An overwhelming number of people come from the northwest, so I am not hopeful for that many Iowans. So, I will be happy with one. I have met two people from Iowa. One is the person that reviews these letters. She is from Humboldt County. The other person? I am confident that someone reading this will recognize the name Marina Calzaretta. Yes, the same Marina from Muscatine. She has this message, a huge “Shout out to the best and most supportive parents, Diane Calzaretta and Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti! Much love from the bottom of the world!” Marina Calzaretta

Another tie to back home is one of my roommates, Sayer Houseal. His dad grew up in Wellman and moved to Texas, where Sayer grew up. We both had cousins who grew up together in Wellman and were fraternity brothers at Iowa State. Sayer also has an aunt and uncle who live in Muscatine, Frosty and Linda Edkin. I am sure someone reading this also will know them.

While this continues to occur in my life, I am still amazed when it does happen. We can travel far from home and have a connection to our life back home. This brings welcome comfort and warmth to the heart.

Let me tell you what, it is nice to have something comforting to warm the heart here in the deep south. The weather is getting colder and cargo ships are coming in. Who knows? Maybe there will be someone on one of the ships who has a connection back to Iowa.

If you do not travel much because you want to stay close to home, I encourage you to leave home for a while. There will be a common connection to someone from Iowa out there. And who knows, maybe that connection leads directly back to home. After all, in California they have Iowa Hawkeye gatherings for sports games, not just bowl games. This is not because there are a lot of people traveling there, but because they already live there. You never know who you will meet that knows someone from your home.

Like Marina, I would like to give a huge shout out to my family back home. I thank all of you for your support of my adventure; especially my wife, Sherry, and our wonderful children, Megan, Michelle, Destiney, Andrea, Natalie, and Maria. I love you all very much.

I just remembered there is another connection with home headed this way. A member of the congregation that my wife and I provide pulpit supply has a cousin and their spouse coming down for the winter season. They will arrive before I leave. Another connection to home.

Until we talk again.

Peace, Jim


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