big world, small world

stopped to make a picture, philip, south dakota © kjm

A week after the interesting vehicular experiences in India, I find myself on an equally bumpy ride with a rancher is his pickup truck. We're on a search for some of his cows, driving through beautiful South Dakota grasslands and silty streams. He's stops periodically to grab his binoculars ("that's either a tree top or one of my cows" ) and when we find some, he uses his curled fist to make an effective call, which gets their attention.

Earlier in the day, he mentioned that he had a roommate in college who was from Hawaii. I told him how Hawaii can be like a small town, at least to the older generations. If my mom meets another native of Hawaii, it only takes them a few minutes to discover mutual friends. So he tells me his buddy's name, and he's a little unsure about the last name (it's been 40 years), but it sounds similar to my mom's maiden name. So I ask him, could the last name be "Kimura?" Maybe. My mom says later, "Calvin Kimura? He's your relative." So Kenny the rancher, who I've just spent a long day with, was buddies with Calvin, my mom's second cousin, who I've never heard of or met.

One of the things I love best about my job is that I often find myself in places where I'm clearly out of my element. Being reminded of the underlying connections makes it even more exciting.

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