Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fun finding Betty Jo Kerr - and small world

Talk about your six degrees of separation and how much the Internet has shrunk the world, my story about how three Australians tried to find after 47 years a former Willoughby girl became a bit personal.

Highlights of the story included how one of the Australians wrote to The News-Herald, seeking the whereabouts of a Betty Jo Kerr. This young lady and the three Aussies spent an October, 1963 week together in Venice, Italy. They even swam (illegally) the city's famed Grande Canal.

After a week passed they parted company. But when the three Australia men were reminiscing recently about their 1963 adventure they wondered whatever happened to Betty Jo.

I wrote a story about their desire to make second contact when lo and behold, a long-time friend of Betty Jo's called and gave to me the contact information to now-named Betty Jo Kerr DeBusschere; a retired college professor, wife and mother of two daughters.

Well, Betty Jo said she sometimes remembered her encounters with the Australians and even visited their country for a few months while on a two-year-long backpacking walkabout of the world.

She also had - way been back in the early 60s - a permanent substitute teacher at then-called Eastlake Junior High School. As these strange events began to unfold it included the fact that I attended Eastlake Junior High School right around the same time Betty Jo Kerr DeBusschere taught there.

Yikes. This is just a little too coincidental; like something out of a "Lost" episode...

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


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