In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Built This City.”
I have lived my whole life in Missouri, mostly in or around St. Louis. I’ve talked about this before, mostly about being “accidentally in a Cardinal nation.” One of the things I love most about St. Louis is a game I call “Six Degrees of St. Louis.”
For better or for worse, St. Louis can be an insular place in that people don’t really leave, for whatever reason. Or they leave and come back, like me. The weather isn’t bad, the cost of living is fantastic and there is enough variance between the little neighborhoods to keep it interesting.
On the flip side, this means that people can be myopic. But, that also means that people kind of “know” each other. “Where’d you go to high school?” is a common question asked among native St. Louisians and the most random people are connected in that everyone knows each other, or they know a friend of a friend. We’re like a small town, but we’re not.
For example: My daughter is less than six connections from Jon Hamm.
The Hammer went to John Borroughs High School a few years ahead of me. I didn’t know anyone at Borroughs during the time he was there, and I don’t know if he knew anyone at Parkway South (my high school) when I got there. If he did, we might be connected through that person. (He also went to Mizzou, like me, but that would be even harder to match up.)
He does know Paul Rudd, who was in a fraternity at KU with a guy I worked with in high school. So, through me, to the guy I worked with and Paul Rudd, my daughter is connected to Jon Hamm. But unless her sucky thing is named Jon Hamm, she doesn’t care. 🙂
3 thoughts on “Six Degrees of St. Louis”
Yes, I guess there are a lot of connections in our lives and in our geography that go unrecognized. I can say with some truth that nobody of any consequence (myself excluded, of course) went to my school, but I lived in the same village as Keith Floyd (the television cook) for many years. He would have been slightly older than I, but could I have queued behind him in the corner shop? Or shared a bar with him at some time? Since he is now considerably deader than I, I am unlikely to find out. Nice, though, retaining that sense of community. For all the places I have since lived, I still feel Bishops Lydeard is somehow where I belong. ‘I left my Heart in Bishops Lydeard’ – doesn’t quite work, does it?
🙂 How large was your town?