A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking. – Jerry Seinfeld, comedian
Writing is one of the last pieces of evidence that people are still grateful and giving a damn. – Mary Sojourner
I write from eighty-one years of life. I write from sixty-nine years of paying attention. And sixty-five years of knowing that reading was holy, and writing was a sacred act. I thank my mother and father for both those gifts.
I thank them for not buying a television till I was around ten – though I now suspect that had mostly to do with my father’s limited income as a high school teacher. I thank my mother for reading everything I wrote – except for my diary. That is a double thanks: for honoring the craft I had begun; and honoring my private thoughts. As a mentor, I’ve seen damage done by parents who didn’t show interest in their child’s writing – and those who showed too much. You and your writing are family in a way that is only your business.
And, for those of you who live and write in Flagstaff, many of us found family in Martha Shideler’s/Kathleen Walter’s Aradia Bookstore. I’d like to pay tribute to her and her store. Please send me any memories you have of Aradia. The store has been gone for a decade or more. The loss still shudders in many readers’ and writers’ worlds. Send your memories to email@example.com either cut and paste or a Word doc. Show us you are grateful and give a damn.
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