Monday, January 25, 2016

Who Needs Bacon?

So Charles Hill posted a link to his weekly Vent, this time about the "six degrees of separation" theory. And of course he mentions the Kevin Bacon variant game, and I got to thinking about that.

Kevin Bacon co-starred with Tom Hanks in Apollo 13.

Hanks was among the vast array of celebrities interviewed by the late Harry Martin, who was for many years the entertainment reporter for Channel 3 in Sacramento (passed away in 2008, aged 81). Harry was also the only person who managed to interview Leonard Nimoy with his Spock ears on.

Among Harry's co-workers at Channel 3 was longtime news anchor Stan Atkinson, whose other duties for the station included hosting the local cutaway breaks during the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

One year when I was in high school I accompanied my dad and some fellow CB radio club members in volunteering behind the scenes at one of these local telethon events; I helped man the refreshment table, and that's how I met Stan. So I've got a Kevin Bacon Number of 4, right?

But according to a story my parents used to tell, during a period when they managed a motel in midtown Sacramento, one of the guests was Slim Pickens. Allegedly I was small enough to sit on his lap.

Pickens, of course, worked with about as many stars as Harry Martin interviewed, including John Wayne, Peter Sellers, Mel Brooks, James Garner, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, Steve McQueen -- pretty much everybody but Kevin Bacon.

All those big stars with whom I have just two degrees of separation.

And if anybody Slim knew or worked with ever met Kevin Bacon, that would let me claim a Bacon Number of 3.

But let's face it. I like my John Wayne Number of 2 better.

Update: Just read that John Wayne knew Wyatt Earp. Take that, Bacon.

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