Once upon a time I wrote: “Have you ever had the experience on Facebook of discovering that two friends whom you know from completely different spheres actually know each other through a connection that doesn’t include you? This happens continually in the past, too – everything is connected to everything else.”
I believe that, wholeheartedly. When we don’t see the connections, it’s only because we don’t know enough, not because the connections aren’t there.
Early in Keepa’s existence, I wrote about wanting to know more about Clifford F.D. Kangas (called “Dee” because his father was also named Clifford), a boy killed as a soldier in Vietnam in 1967. While I had probably seen Dee’s father many times at Church, I remember seeing him only once, on the day of his son’s funeral, as reported in the linked story.
Dee was born 30 March 1947 in Santa Rosa, California, near where his parents, Clifford and Velma, had been married in Stockton in 1943.
My aunt, Evelyn May Taylor, served as a missionary from 1946 to 1948, in the Northern California Mission. I’ve written about some of her experiences (part one, part two, and part three). Most of her mission time was spent in towns across the Bay from San Francisco: Ukiah, Sebastopol, Novato, Petaluma, and, yes, Santa Rosa.
Evelyn was working in Santa Rosa on 12 May 1947. She and her companion spent the day tracting, an activity that she always seemed to enjoy or at least to face cheerfully. “It’s surely funny to see the change come over people after we tell them we’re missionaries. It’s a good before and after act. They start stepping back and gradually begin to close the door. Sometimes they look startled. Of course everyone doesn’t but that’s the way many react.”
And then the world of my Salt Lake Valley childhood of the 1960s collided with the world of my aunt’s California mission of the 1940s:
“When we’d been home about five minutes Bro. Kangas came for us to take us to his house for dinner. He has a grand old jalop[y] of a red truck – he says it won’t fall apart but it sounds like a tinney tin can.”
Evelyn would have found at the Kangas home a six-week-old baby boy, named Dee.