When I was running this morning, I was thinking about why last night was so special. After spending most of the week in my home town, I was reminded of who I used to be. When I was a kid, we were poor. We qualified for reduced lunches, although my parents never took them. We got one pair of shoes at the start of the school year and wore them past being worn out. I remember putting library due date cards in the bottoms of my shoes when they had holes. And one pair that turned out to have hollow heels so when they wore down I clopped down the hall and people called me Pony. Not in a good way. Teresa W. mocked me for wearing her hand-me-down dresses that her mom had given my mom.
I felt like a nonentity in school. I was smart, but the kids of the doctors and lawyers got put in the advanced classes and I had to ask if I could take Advanced English. As soon as I turned 16, I started working as much as I could, because I knew there was no money for college. I wasn't a cheerleader, I had a small circle of friends, and I didn't care about sports.
What I loved was books, and thanks to the library, we had plenty in the house. My dream, if I had known it was possible, would have been to be surrounded by other people who not only loved books, but wrote them.