In 2010 I gave the author luncheon address at the New Jersey SCBWI conference held in Princeton, NJ. Prior to the conference I heard from Michele Heinrichs, whose 10-year-old daughter was a fan of mine. They lived two hours away by car but Rachel wanted to meet me in person and Michele was willing to drive that far if I had time.
When they arrived at the conference, I got to meet Rachel and exchange proper hugs. The conference chair, Kathy Temean, made arrangements for Rachel to sit in the back of the room with her mom during the luncheon. In years that followed, Michele brought Rachel and her younger sister Sarah to Honesdale when I was giving poetry workshops. As you can imagine, we have continued to stay in touch even as Rachel grew and became more involved in school and social activities.
Well, yesterday Rachel graduated from high school. I think you will agree she has grown and blossomed into a beautiful young woman. The first time I “met” her was when as a 4th grader she used to post poems on my blog. And now just look at what writing poetry will do for you!
Congratulations, Rachel. I am very proud of you!
With love, David