Sometimes you hear the term “six degrees of separation” to describe how people tend to be linked together by social ties. In a small town like Sandpoint, it’s more like two degrees of separation (at the most). When something happens to a person in town, odds are good that you’ll either know the person or know someone who knows the person.
I think that’s why the mystery of Dan Clune’s disappearance on November 6 has affected so many people. I never met Dan, but I know people who have. I’ve exchanged e-mails with his sister, and I drive by the Long Bridge Grill all the time. Like everyone else, I’ve read about missing persons and seen the pictures on milk cartons for years, but it was always something that happened somewhere else.
The thing that gets me is that Sandpoint isn’t like Los Angeles where people put up a big invisible shield around them and make a concerted effort not to notice other human beings outside their wall of silence. In Sandpoint, people look you in the eye. At the grocery store, the lady next to you picking out green peppers might start up a conversation that lasts half an hour. Here, people actually pay attention to the other people around them. That’s why even though Danny was last seen at two in the morning, I believe that someone must have noticed something after that.
I’ve read that Danny’s family is worried that people will forget about Danny’s case. I know I haven’t. Because it’s so close to home, I’ve been periodically checking his web site to see if there’s any new news (http://www.finddanny.com). I hope for Dan’s family’s sake that they get some answers soon.
Life can change in an instant, so tell those you care about that you love them. It is the holiday season and that’s what it’s all about, after all 😉