Friday, March 25, 2016

Remembering Marty Kent


Facebook is like one vast John Guare experiment. Guare wrote the play, Six Degrees of Separation. The idea that we are merely six degrees separated from everyone. Say, Kevin Bacon. Facebook periodically brings that idea home.

Someone posted on a Marin page, a book that she had found, and wanted to know more about it. I was surprised to discover that I knew the poet as I had worked for her family a long, long time ago.

I worked for Roger and Alice Kent during the early 1970s. One of my jobs was running the office for Western Star Press. I remember the name Marty Kent. Still trying to line up a face. I can almost see her.

A floodgate of faces: there was Neili, Kenny Kent's ex-wife... There was Molly Kent & Max, who had two kids. Max was an architect, and turned a squash court into a cool house. And there was Molly's baby sister, Alice, but we called her PeeWee.

So how did Marty fit in? It took a while to place Marty, but by happenstance, somebody told somebody who told somebody who told Marty's daughter about the post, who enlightened us. It turns out Marty was a cousin.

Marty's daughter, Littlest Alice and I struck up a Facebook friendship. It turns out that Alice and I both worked for Western Star Press. We began to swap stories. One thing led to another, and lo! and they've a few copies of Marty's book, and she'll mail me a copy.

How small and lovely the world, that which separates us also brings us together with few degrees of separation.

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