To Do

To Do

411. Track down someone who influenced me

My Story

Updated July 4, 2009

I’ve been lucky, I suppose. Even when things were bleak and the outlook wasn’t so good, I’ve been lucky enough to have wonderful influences, mentors, and cheerleaders on my side.

Carl, the partriarch of the family who ran the Elmview dairy in the town where I grew up, for example. He used to pay me to read books to him. 10 cents for small books or picture books, and 25 cents for books without pictures. Carl was elderly and housebound. His daughter lived with him and took care of him in his big house next door to the dairy. I’d visit, read him a few books, and then use the money I’d earned to buy a fresh, home-made ice cream cone in the dairy shop before heading home. I’m sure that the housebound old man appreciated our visits as much as I did, but my love of reading and story (and ice cream!) was only encouraged by this kind man.

Squirrel, who believes in me always, even before I believe in myself. I only have to halfway tell her a dream or a goal and she’s already setting about helping me figure out how exactly to get there.

Ms. Downey, the junior high school art teacher, who let me come to her classroom after school and hang out, helping her to clean up the paints, wipe down the chalkboards, and lay out the supplies for the classes the following morning.

Don’t be shy about letting people know how much they’ve inspired you and influenced you to become the person you are now. It’s never a bad thing to hear.


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Shared Stories

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