I end this day with a heavy heart with the sad news that Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt had passed away at the age of 78. You can read about it here.
He is best known for his Bestselling hit Angela’s Ashes and then the blockbuster movie that followed. But for me it is hard to think of him as Frank McCourt. You see he’ll always be Mr. McCourt to me. The Irish Lit and creative writing teacher from when I was in Stuyvesant High School. The 50 minutes of excitement and brightness to an otherwise dull day.
His class was the class where my imagination would soar and my creativity would thrive. It was where I started to really love the written word and started to crave the writer’s life. Only Mr. McCourt could make suffering desirable. Hell, you were going to suffer in this life anyway you might as well do it doing something you love.
I remember clearly the day I was coming down the steps in the old building, looking down and mopey, as I was often doing during that time, and he was coming up and asked what my problem was. I said I was broke (who wasn't?). He told me to follow him to the schools job board. I did. He looked over the board pick pointed to a job and told me to call. He said, “You’re a smart girl you can do that job.”
Well I did. And I kept that job clear through college. And also met my DH on that job. All thanks to Mr. McCourt.
Years later my DH and I were taking the twins to the Museum of Natural History. The twins must have been about 4 or 5 years old. It just so happens Mr. McCourt was doing a reading and had a huge crowd, but I wanted to go and say hello. I had just left fashion design and had written my first hot mess of a book.
The crowd finally parted and I went up to him. I asked if he remembered me. He did. I told him the story of the job board and the kids. I joked and said that he was responsible for my Dear Twins. To that he responded, “No Way!” with his infectious laugh.
Then I told him that I was now writing and his eyes lit up. He asked what I had written and I told him quickly about my hot mess of a first romance. And this sweet man always looking out for his students gave me the name of his super high powered agent (no he didn't frown at romance. Ha!). And told me to query her and say that he sent me.
Also to keep writing.
Well I will keep writing Mr. McCourt. Until...
P.S. you can read my past post where I wrote about Mr. McCourt here
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