Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
Portrait of the Author's Father
My dad was a welder, a tree trimmer, a mechanic, and a brave and adventuresome spirit. And although he wasn't an artist, he always encouraged me to pursue whatever interested me, whether it was drawing, writing, or teaching school.
When I was in first grade, the PTA held an art contest for Father's Night (back in the 60's there had to be a special night set aside in order to get the fathers to attend PTA). All the students drew pictures of our dads. I remember working hard on my drawing (it was a contest after all!) and even annoying my teacher with repeated requests for a forest green (not regular green) crayon so I could get my dad's eyes just right.
My dad wasn't big on PTA meetings but he knew this was important to me, so he dressed up in his one and only suit and headed to school. When the first grade fathers lined up with their portraits, my drawing was chosen as the winner (it must have been that forest green crayon or the accurate portrayal of my dad's wrinkled forehead). When he came home late that night, my dad woke me up to show me the prizes we had won: a pen and pencil set for him, the Bumper Book of Poetry for me.
It's a very happy memory.