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Six Degrees of West Orange Separation

Making the hometown connection

Have you ever played the movie game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? It's the game where you name any actor in any role and by connecting co-staring actors in other films you can always connect to the actor Kevin Bacon. That is kind of how I feel about life in West Orange. Through one person I can connect all sorts of relationships. It reminds me the world is a small place and we are all interconnected. Recently these reminders have been popping up all over the place for me.

Almost four years ago, my family of then four, moved out of high rise city living into the world of suburban home ownership. We chose West Orange because it seemed like a great place to raise a family. Only problem was we didn't know anyone. It was time to play a new social game. 

I met my mommy partner in crime in the way most modern relationships are born, on a local on line message board. It was kismet. Then one day on a trip to a local playground I randomly ran into an old next door neighbor. She had recently moved to West Orange as well. She also had children of her own who happened to be the same age as my then youngest child. Not only were we making new friends were growing new friendships from our past.

Once preschool started the connection world exploded for us. Our old neighbor's kids were going to the same preschool with new close friends of ours. We met those friends through Internet mommy since they lived on the same block. Then another friend who was also new to the neighborhood, and also happened to live on the same block as Internet mommy, wanted to introduce me to another mom who she met at an art class we both took. Turns out that mom was moving onto my block. Perhaps it is a small world after all.

It was on a recent playdate though, where I felt my world of interconnectedness really explode. I was meeting up with a mom and her sons from our preschool. In addition to hanging out with us, she was also meeting up with another mom friend and her son. They had become friends when their sons met in their previous preschool. That mom ended up not only bringing her son but also a friend of his from their current preschool. That friend of course happened to be the son of Internet mommy. The degrees of separation were bringing connections full circle.

As for the name sake of the game, he holds a special place in my interconnected world as well. Back in the early 2000's I interned on the former Soap Opera Guiding Light. And do you know who worked there a decade or two prior? Non-other than the crown jewel of the separation game, Mr. Kevin Bacon himself. It's amazing the connections you can make. Some are pretty far-fetched. Then again some are simply amazing because they make your community a home. 

Jennifer Larsen March 10, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Maggie, Welcome! West Orange is a great place to live. :)
Maggie March 10, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Thank you Jennifer. We are nervous but very happy with our new home.
Lara Sanders March 10, 2011 at 09:13 PM
What a funny story! I think I AM one of those moms you mentioned, and I feel the same way. Just wait until you start going to parks this summer, the interconnections will continue to amaze you. Maggie, we hope to see you at some of our parks this spring.
Jennifer Tornopsky March 10, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Welcome Maggie! We were the same way when we moved here. My oldest started kindergarten this year and the schools offer so many opportunities to meet people. It's like an avalanche! Good luck with your move and I hope to see you around town.
Sherley Jean-Baptiste March 11, 2011 at 11:58 AM
Welcome to West Orange, Maggie. It's a great community to live and raise your family. The kids will make friends in no time and will be very happy. My youngest is in the first grade. Email me, maybe we can have them connect: sherleyjbaptiste@yahoo.com

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