Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The most sentimental object I own now belongs to a two-year-old who is fated to destroy it. When I was six, my mother took me to see Donald Crews read aloud this book, Freight Train. I don't remember much--just standing in the back of a large room listening to a man with a powerful voice cast a spell over us all. Then I remember a long staircase and a man who signed a book in my name. My mother told me, "This is special," and it was.

Two years ago, my dad packed up all the books we'd had as children and mailed them out to California. I sorted through them all, threw away the ones too mangled or ripped, and gave the rest to my kids. Among those, they have chosen their favorites, the ones they reach to night after night for a bedtime story. My son chose Freight Train.

After one particularly sentimental bedtime ritual, I decided to track down Mr. Donald Crews and tell him the story of how I received this book and now read it aloud to my son. To my amazement, the publisher really did forward it on to the author, and Mr. Crews wrote back.

Dear Jessica,

Thank for your nice note referencing a long ago
meeting. It's nice to know it had and continues
to have value for you and your son.

Send it to me and I'll sign or additionally
dedicate it for your son.


Donald Crews

I haven't taken him up on his offer, yet, but I am deeply touched.


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7:54 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

The power of books is amazing. People forget that once all books were passed down, generation to generation, and held sacred.

5:15 AM  

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