This weekend was special for me.
E.B. White’s grandniece hosted a book signing.
She signed my two copies of “Charlotte’s Web”.
Her first edition copy,
gifted to her by E.B (Uncle Andy)
was on display.
Also on display was his Underwood typewriter.
Here is the family portrait. E.B. is the baby.
I’m in a raffle drawing for a signed book.
We had fun posing for a photo.
“What is your favorite writing in the book?” I asked.
She never moved again. Next day, as the ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody, of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.
My goodness! It was a lump-in-the-throat moment hearing those words read aloud.
“Jennie, did you know that Uncle Andy was Wilbur, and his wife was Charlotte? When he recorded reading the book, it took him seventeen takes to read that paragraph. Seventeen.”
Back home the book and the event stuck with me. Fall is beautiful in New England. It was also the time when Wilbur was back home in the barn. Perhaps that’s why reading “Charlotte’s Web” to my students in the fall makes the book special. I often wonder if E.B. White saw the same fall beauty as I do.