Two of my life’s pursuits have been writing and teaching. Both can, at times, leave you wondering if any of the “gems” you spew forth actually land on fertile ground. This past week I have been rewarded with two separate reassurances that, indeed, sometimes they actually do. While I was at my table at The Bergen Farmers’ Market selling books and pie-yes, I agree, it’s a weird combination. Think of it as food for the soul and the body. Two young men came up, brothers, whom I had taught in the ’70s and ’80s. I had fond memories of having them in my class and they had good memories of having been there. The one who had been in my homeroom remembered that we had read The Outsiders in class and then added, “We did a lot of reading that year.” Yes! Yes! Yes! There is nothing an English teacher loves more than hearing that. Thank you, Darcy and Troy! A couple of days later I received an email from a girl (woman) whose class I had visited as an author 27 years ago. She remembered the writing exercise I had done with them and said that afterward she and her best friend competed to use the best technique to “hook” a reader at the beginning of a story. She also wore Cowboys Don’t Cry to tatters. What a gallant death for a book! Thank you, too, Heidi! If anyone reading this has a great memory of someone who inspired you years ago-or not so many years ago-tell them. It is a wonderful gift to receive.

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