Friday, May 25, 2012

Six Degrees of Separation

The concept six degrees of separation, that everyone is, on average, approximately 6 steps away by way of introduction from any other person on Earth, was popularized in a game tying any movie, actor or actress to Kevin Bacon or one of his films.  This concept really hadn't occurred to me until recently when I came across an article from 1937 in the Middletown Press.

East Hampton has had a long and active tradition of community performances and amateur performers.  In recent years Podium Players, YPPCA or Epic Arts, but in the past more informal groups where church choir singers and others from the community would participate in a local production. Often such productions developed through organizations such as the Odd Fellows, Masons, Eastern Star or church fellowship clubs and were choreographed  for community events such as Old Home Day.

That 1937 article's headline Minstrelsy To Be Given on Saturday - Rehearsal of Large Cast is Held Under Mrs. Duryea"s Direction began "Chairman Percy P. Markham (my grandfather) was satisfied with the rehearsal last night of the minstrel troupe which will present a show in the open air on Saturday evening at 8:30." Reading further, many familiar names appeared - Jane Gorin, who was performing a tap dance; song and dance by Margaret Butts and Ruby Dureya; a magic show by Lou Schwartz; a number by Claude West and his girls; and a concert by Stan Johnson and his Kay Rock Inn orchestra. Soloists included Dorothy anderson, helen Nelson, Peggy Roberts, and the end men were Francis O'Collell, Pat O'Connell, Wayne Denman, Jack Roberts, Bill Nelson and Gerald Wall.  The chorus included Gordon Bevin, Eleanor Purple, Inez Smith, Alice Daly, Julia Vondrich, Marion Bransfield, Claude West, Emil Nelson, Natalie Lutzsky, Buddy Fiegel, but two in particular, Jack Krauth and Janet Green, struck a familiar cord. 

Two years ago, a gentleman from California, Tim Krauth was referred to me at Prudential CT Realty to assist him in finding a home.  We have finally find a beauty in Columbia so I'm please to welcome his wife Lorie and he back to the area.  You see, in our discussions, he talk about him visiting his grandmother's house in East Hampton as a boy. With a little detective work, I found the house on the corner of Edgerton Street and Main Street, now owned by Chip and Bonnie Goodrich, who graciously welcomed Tim into their home when he traveled east in December 2010. 
In some additional research, I found that Jack Krauth married Janet Green, and they were Tim's parents! I am constantly amazed on how small our world has become and how truly intertwined we humans are, here at the center of it all in East Hampton.