Ozarks Literacy Council is partnering with noted photographer Randy Bacon to revise an event he did for the Council almost 20 years ago, “Words and Pictures.” In the original collection, I appeared with Sandy Asher, with whom I had partnered on various projects to promote literacy such as America Writes for Kids, and opera star Jim Billings. That was before Sandy and Harvey moved from Springfield to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
I’m honored to be a subject in this anniversary event, which will feature 20 people and is scheduled to be shown in March 2022. To accompany my portrait, I’ve been asked to provide a sidebar of 750 words or so about why I became involved in promoting literacy originally (2022 will mark my 40th year) and why I remain involved today. Specifically, I was asked to respond to this: “You could just as easily have focused on being an author. We want to get the HEART of why literacy is important to you.” No one has asked me to address that issue before. This is going to take some thought. I’ll sit for the picture this morning at 9:30. I’ll wrestle with my response to the question soon.