In 2019, with the help of a peer from my junior high school class, who remembered your name, and helpful librarians at Bates College, I learned you lived in Camden, Maine. That you had retired there after a professional career in NYC which, ironically, did not include teaching -- but to my mind you had fulfilled that role.
Last summer we met for lunch and then coffee after fifty years had passed, there in the village of Camden, and it was a wonderful reunion. I gave you a copy of my featured children's book, and promised that when my new nonfiction book came out, we would have lunch again, so I could give you a copy of this newest work.
I'm looking forward to that lunch in Camden this summer, Sally.
To My Most Memorable Teacher,
I’ve always been terrible with names, and I apologize for not remembering yours. You were a Senior-year student teacher from Bates College in Maine who substitute taught in my H.S. Junior-year English Studies class with Miss Samways, in 1965. And among the many excellent English teachers I had during those years, you remain the one I remember most for encouraging me to ‘keep at the writing.’
While I don’t remember your name, I see your face to this day, framed by the horn-rimmed glasses that are now returned to fashion. Dark haired and tall, as I recall (though I could be mistaken in this), you had a bookish air about you that held our attention. You or Miss Samways also gave us a fair amount of homework to do, which frequently included essays to write. When you were given the essays to grade, you read two or three aloud before the class which in your estimate stood out either for their elegance (in that time frame) or their inspired lunacy -- and you always read mine, every time with appropriate theatrics, more often I think because they fell into this latter category; though one may have slipped in on an error, one time, into the first.
So this is to thank you for those many encouragements to keep at the writing in the future. I did and have, and I owe a good part of it to you.
Years ago there was a Reader’s Digest series titled “My Most Unforgettable Character.” Please consider this open letter my submission to that series, which sadly does not present your name in appreciation.
For me, you were the class of ’65 at Bates College and it's my goal that one of my plays will be produced one day on its campus, at the Schaeffer Theatre.
And I will hope then that by some unnamed grace, you will read this when it happens and be there for one of its performances.
Again, thank you for the many encouragements to an aspiring sixteen-year-old writer.
An Author Today