It happened like this: And as you know, those are the beginning words to a really good story. So, hold on to your hat.
Last spring I learned that E.B. White’s grandniece was giving a presentation at my local library. I had no idea there was a family member living nearby. This was thrilling news, good news. Unfortunately, I was travelling at the time of her presentation. That was sad news, bad news. Talk about highs and lows.
When I visited the library after my travels, the head children’s librarian was beside herself to tell me about the event. She was even more excited to tell me that E.B. White’s grandniece wanted to meet me. Me! In the words of Charlotte, I was HUMBLE.
And so we met. She (Lindsay) is wonderful. She showed me memorabilia that took my breath away. My favorite photos were Andy (E.B. White’s nickname) typing at his boathouse where he wrote, and swinging on the real rope swing in the barn at the farm in Maine.
Our conversation went something like this:
Lindsay: “When do you read aloud Charlotte’s Web?”
Me: “Just before rest time.”
Lindsay: “Do you read every day?”
Lindsay: “And when do you start reading the book? Later in the school year?”
Me: “I start on day one.”
Lindsay: “Day one? Really?”
Me: “Oh Yes!”
Lindsay: “I’d love to hear you read the book.”
And so she did! This week. She arrived with a big poster full of photos (me included) and memorabilia. The children were fascinated as she told stories about her Uncle Andy (E.B.). Did you know that he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy? And wouldn’t you know that the chapter we read that day was Wilbur receiving a medal at the fair. Very timely, and surely meant to be.
And then it was time for chapter reading. We turned off the lights, and for nearly thirty minutes we were engrossed in listening to the words of Charlotte’s Web. We answered questions and talked about who we liked in the book, and also who we didn’t like – Templeton. We remembered that Charlotte’s egg sac contained 514 eggs. Lindsay so enjoyed the reading and the conversation. It was wonderful!
Of course the children made her a gigantic thank you note. I received a lovely note that said:
Terrific, terrific, terrific fun today!!
I enjoyed every minute!
The children are precious!!
You are SOME READER!!!!!
So nice! And the references to Charlotte’s Web are perfect. I feel HUMBLE and RADIENT. In the words of the goose, thank you, thank you, thank you Lindsay.