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Tuesday, June 29, 2021


The report is in.

My high school guidance counselor Mrs. Slauson sent me my report from freshman year her father, Marty Crowe, tucked away 40 years ago.

I can't read the first few words, Mrs. Slauson laughed about her father's handwriting, but he appears to write the paper would be a top-notch college paper.

Four decades later, that made me a little weepy.

The paper, of course, stinks to hi heaven. It's lightweight and immature -- so it's much like what I write today.

I found it hard to read the damn thing, not because of the aged paper but because I disliked it so. 

But here's the thing that buoyed me -- it's 40 years later and I'm still writing.

In grade school, high school and college, I was discouraged from seeking life as a writer. My fourth-grade teacher said "Mr. Jackson, no one will pay to read what you write."

Here I am still pecking away at a keyboard, trying to improve with the idea the more you practice your craft, the better you will get.

Perhaps, after two score, I write gooder and gooder.

Peace and practice unto all of you my brothers and sisters.


  1. I suspect the first words are "Keep this up." Just a guess.

  2. There's something so touching about this story--that your teacher saved your paper, that his daughter found it, that she sent it to you. Clearly, words have saved you, and will continue to save you. Keep it up!

  3. I'm thinking: "Keep this one, it would be a top-drawer paper in college"(???)... or maybe: ..."Twould be a top-drawer..."(???)
    Rebecca's right... that's pretty cool that ol Marty hung onto that and Mrs. S would care enough to send it to you.
    As for the paper... I would've been thrilled to have been writing at that caliber in high school. Well done then and it's patently obvious you have continually improved. Again Rebecca nails it.. "words HAVE saved you"...

  4. ...and I still get a little maudlin when I consider how fortunate I was to have been mentored and molded as I was by certain teachers in my high school [as well as elementary] days... it's kind of a shame we weren't fully cognizant of it at the time