A former History teacher of mine asked me once why I write? He’d met my grandmother when she came to school to meet all of my teachers to find out why I was skipping class (to play bridge in the cafeteria for all reasons… it was Minnesota) and nobody notified my parents. My grandmother came because both my parents worked. She was the matriarch of the family and quite formidable. The almost uniform response was, “He’s such a nice boy we didn’t want him to get in trouble.” Tom Keljic was surprised to hear I was missing other classes as I never missed his and was an avid student. We found each other on Facebook and he began to read my posts well before my Enigma In Black blog came to be. He asked if my eloquent grandmother taught me to write and this was my reply.
“I don’t know where the writing came from except as perhaps as a byproduct of reading. I learned to read at 4 and because I was above average height and could read I started school a year early. Psychologists suggest I might display some immaturity at times vs. my peers and at times I did. In second grade there was a book report contest where I blew away the field in volume. In elementary school I walked 6 blocks to the library with regularity and was always reading books. In high school besides the regular curriculum I discovered comic books and could keep up with multiple fantasy universes although I had little interest in my own. In college I was introduced to the Harlem Renaissance and much more literature in addition to History, Calculus, et al.
Photo: Rebuild Foundation
I graduated at the time all the Watergate related books came out which started my interest in politics. I can’t say anyone taught me to write, I would say that if you read enough you might not be able to contain it all and it will have to find a release in writing. It helped to have great teachers along the way who encouraged more than completing assignments but encouraged excitement about learning. Thanks for being one of them!”
For those of you with influence on young children. Parents, Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts. Encourage them to read. Teach them early. Let them consider it not drudgery to pick up a book and explore worlds real and otherwise. Challenge them, reward them, but teach them. Have them write their own stories. They will be better prepared for the world as they grow up. Perhaps living in a world with great possibilities as opposed to one with strict limitations. Reading truly is fundamental. It’s never too late for adults either.