Some have asked me why I chose Novato, California for the town in my book. Well, for those who know me the answer is easy. From the age of ten, I grew up there and my children were born there.
As the Greyhound bus pulled into town, I honestly got goosebumps up and down my arms. There was something in the air that made me know, I was home. Finally, after years of traveling from Nashville, Tennessee to San Diego, Lakeside and more. I just knew this was where I belonged.
When I stepped off the bus that warm day back in August of 1962, I fell in love. The smell of eucalyptus sailed through the air. I remember watching a man sweeping the sidewalk out front of a small corner store. The thing that touched me the most, was as I sat down on a bench near the old train station waiting for my mom to pick me up, he smiled and waved. I also saw a boy hanging out at the train station and yes, he really did make me blush and my mom honestly thought I had a fever, just like in the book.
Little did I know I would meet my life long best friend and others who would remain planted in my heart forever and a day.
The things I remember so fondly were long, lazy days filled with walking on tin cans, saving enough money to go to Berkley Farms for a milkshake or ice cream. Those days also included, Western day weekend, cardboard sliding, and of course Novato Theater.
There were many teachers that touched my heart, but none as much as Mr. White, my sixth grade teacher. He planted seeds of knowledge and wisdom with his kind words and opened spirit. I’m not sure I’d be a writer today had it not been for him pushing me to reach for the stars. The second teacher ended up later on becoming his wife, Mrs. Scott. Her ability to read a story and bring it to life, made me dream of writing a book someday. Those two teachers were the biggest influences in my days of growing up.
Astonishing how a wonderful teacher can influence you so deeply.
When you wish upon a star