There is a game called six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Supposedly everyone in Hollywood is connected to Kevin Bacon in some form. Since my life and everything about is the paramount concern to each and every one of you, I bet you are asking how all things relate to the old Hoosierboy. For instance there were three contestants of the 24 finalists on American Idol last week that hailed from Indiana. I am sure you want to know how many degrees separate those people from connecting with me.
The first contestant was a Luke something or other that comes from Crawfordsville, Indiana. My connection to him is simple. Crawfordsville was the home of Civil War General Lew Wallace. General Wallace is famous for his failure to appear on the first day of Shiloh. He got lost several times and almost cost the Union Army a major defeat. Wallace was the Governor of New Mexico during the Lincoln County Wars (read up on Billy the Kid) and wrote the epic Ben Hur. Crawfordsville is also the home of Wabash College, and I lived there for four years while attending that fine institution of higher learning.
The second performer was the pretty dark-haired girl from Lowell, Indiana. Lowell is in Da Region; Og country. My daughter briefly dated a guy her freshman year in college. This girl is his step-sister. Too bad she chose a bad song and was voted off. Look at that, two Idols contestants, two connections.
The third contestant is the biker-nurse with the skunk-like hairdo. She has a rocker voice and claims she lives in Mulberry, Indiana. I am sure many of you think that is a joke -- Mulberry? Here is a deep dark secret I do not like to divulge: my first real job after college was in Mulberry. I was the head librarian at the Mulberry Public Library. I was also Children's Librarian, Reference Librarian and head Janitor. Yes, people, I was once a librarian many years ago. That was two long years in purgatory. Let me tell you, a Librarian's Convention is not nearly as fun or as exciting as you would imagine it to be. Mulberry is home to a couple of thousand people. I was an assistant Scoutmaster in the Boy Scout troop there as well and I know many people in the town. Was this gravely-voiced singer one of the girls that used to come to story time at the library some 20 years ago? I do not know, but in my mind I inspired this contestant to lofty heights and introduced her to rock music on the late-night Thursdays when I played the radio loud at the Mulberry Public Library.
See, it all comes back to the Hoosierboy.