“Never Give up your Dream”
As an author, you sign a book, write a greeting, if the buyer tells you a bit about themselves, you try to make it personal. When my first book was published, A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail, I spoke at many different venues, as I did for all of my books. A Woman’s Journey is hand written in calligraphy and illustrated with 125 ink and charcoal drawings. Thirty-five years ago, I spoke at Millersville University in PA. Many students purchased a book and of course, you forget who you spoke with, let alone know whose life you may have touched. One sale was to a young student who said she’s like to hike the entire AT someday. I wrote, “Never give up your dream.” That was 35 years ago. Of course, I forgot all about her.
This past weekend, I was honored at Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill County Reading Council, an affiliate of the International Literacy Association, to receive the “Celebrate Literacy” Award, on behalf of my work as a writer and published author. I spoke about being a Triple Crown Hiker and Author and on my upcoming book due out next May with Skyhorse Publishing, NYC…The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature and Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education.
When I was at the table signing my Triple Crown books, Marian Tichy came up to my table with a first edition of a Woman’s Journey. She opened to the first page where I autographed it with the inscribed words, “Never Give up your Dream. She wanted me to know that she never forgot me, nor her dream all these years, and 2016 finally saw her on the AT. She successfully finished her thru-hike 34 years later. She never did give up.
I was pretty floored. Thinking about her life- waiting patiently all those years for the time to be right to do her thru-hike. She had to be in her mid-50’s now, if she met me in her early 20’s. It just made me feel good, doing my job as a communicator, hoping to touch someone’s life, helping their dreams come true. Sometime, you’re lucky enough to get a sign that you’re on the right track in life. Thank you for that, Marian.
A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail has been in consecuative print for 35 years. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is the current publisher. It is available through the organization’s Ultimate Trail Store. http://atctrailstore.org/a-womans-journey/
For the rest of my books head to Amazon.
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Loved the Marian anecdote. Kind of reminds me what I’m up to now. History repeating itself. All the best best,
hey John- thanks and hope you are good
what ARE you up to???
Nice affirmation that what you do makes a difference. One the (rare) occasion I receive an email from a past student telling me that the class they took was the ‘best class ever and changed their life’ sort of message, it keeps me going until the next nice note. Fortunately I only need one every few years. 🙂
oops – ‘On the’ not ‘One the’ … gak – need to proof better before hitting ‘post’.
thanks for sharing- miss you!