9 thoughts on “degrees of separation

  1. Eirik

    On a more sombre note, my father once shook hands with former Norwegian prime minister Einar Gerhardsen. In his youth, Gerhardsen was a delegate at a conference in Moscow, where he met both Lenin and Stalin. Through another relative, I’m just two degrees of separation from Hitler. Also, I once met PÂl Steigan, former leader of the Maoist party of Norway, famous (or notorius, rather?) in Norway for having met both Pol Pot and Chairman Mao. So, Jill, do you still want to shake my hand the next time we meet? 😉

  2. Jill

    Eirik, I had no idea you were such a central node in scary networks! Perhaps I’ll just disregard the whole degrees of separation thing….

  3. chuck

    There was a point in the 1970s when my mom had shaken hands with every living president. Of course, this group included Rihcard Nixon, so I’m not sure whether that’s a mark of distinction or not.

  4. Eirik

    Wow, that’s quite impressive, isn’t it? I mean, in Norway there are few people and little in the way of distance (here in Oslo, quite literally) between the rulers and the ruled. Which is why I know a number of people from different walks of life who have met our current Prime Minister, not to mention the previous ones. As for security, there actually is very little. Apart from a handful of government ministers and royals, you’re quite likely to bump into top politicians at your local corner store here in the capital. I do it all the time. 🙂

  5. chuck

    It helped that there were only three living presidents (LBJ, Ford, and Nixon) and that we lived in Washington, DC. But I’ll admit it’s unusual. I was *very* impressed when I was a kid (but it also seemed perfectly natural that politicians would intersect with regular folks like my mom).

  6. Norman

    In Australia, there was one society woman who was quite well known to have slept with every Australian Prime Minister between 1949 and 1965. She had also slept with the Prime Minister of 1940, and one of the best known Wardens of the Cinque Ports in Britain. It’s just a matter of having the right connections.

  7. Jill

    So you can become a collector of handshakes or sexual encounters, really, can’t you. Intangible collectibles, I like that 🙂

  8. Norman

    I have a confession Jill. Dame Patty was the woman, and all the office bearers I mentioned, were the same person. Sir Robert’s days in power lasted quite a while.

  9. Jill

    So that’s what Mum was saying on the phone that I didn’t quite understand but was too distracted to ask about.. I obviously have gaping holes in my knowledge of Australian history 😉 thanks for giving away the joke!

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