December 17, 2010

Thank you, Mr. Reporter

Forty-three Christmases ago I watched a parade in a small town only a few miles from my current home. I was only three, but I remember the scene in vivid detail.

I don’t recall much about the parade (except Santa), but I do remember the cotton candy my mom bought me, probably to take my mind off of the blustery winter day. And I remember the man in the long dark coat who ran across the street toward us just as soon as the last float had cleared. While I had been eagerly watching the parade, he had been eagerly watching me.

He was a stranger and at first I felt shy, but when he offered to purchase another round of cotton candy he became my BFF. I couldn’t figure out why my mom would allow a second dose of spun sugar so as soon as it landed in my hands I buried my face to get a big mouthful, just in case my mom changed her mind.

At first the stranger said, “No!”, but as soon as I pulled my face back he was overcome with delight when he saw my cotton candy goatee. He pointed a big black thing at me and the next day my face was plastered on the front page of the newspaper.

My mother said he was a reporter. I had no idea what that meant, but I decided that whatever a reporter was, I liked him very much. When I saw my picture in the newspaper I liked him even better.

Way down in my little girl heart something stirred. I connected the dots that this picture + word thing was a good deal. The stranger had been generous. He had taken my ordinary little life and made me feel so special, not to mention I got free cotton candy out of the deal. A tiny seed was planted, an inkling of a desire to do the same for others.

Mr. Reporter from the 1960s, whether you’re still on this earth or not, thank you for that tiny seed. It sprouted, it grew, and now I, too, use my life and words to bless others.

As we celebrate this season of giving, take a moment to remember those who have impacted your writing journey and say a prayer of thanks for them. If possible, send a note, an email, or a text and share your appreciation. What better gift could you give?



Miss Sandy said...

Oh Bontia, what an adorable little girl you were and what a precious woman you have grown into! You are tops on my prayer list of special mentors with your ever encouraging words to pour our hearts out on paper. I hope you have the very merriest Christmas ever!

Dale said...

As a reporter who photographs hundreds of adorable children...I LOVED this post! :D

PS You were utterly darling and I understand why you were singled you out from the crowd.

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...


Thank YOU for your encouragement. I have enjoyed getting to know you and talking "shop" with you.

Many blessings this Christmas season!

Richella said...

Bonita, this is a WONDERFUL post. . . what a blessing that reporter bestowed on the world, all unbeknownst!

And what a darling little one you were! No wonder he wanted to take your picture!!

A very, very merry Christmas to you and yours, dear woman. You are such a gift.

A multi-dimensional life said...

Oh, I loved this! What a little doll you were! That photo brought back precious memories of my own! I absolutely loved cotton candy and would be sure to ask for it every time we would go to the fair! I'm so glad I stopped by today! I'm now following and looking forward to visiting regularly!
I'm remembering my 4th grade teacher with thanks as I recall her request to publish my very first short story for the children's library in town! Thank you Miss Shell! :)

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Oh my word, look at adorable little you!!! It is a blessing to be able to recall and record that memory. And I think it is even more precious when you have the gift of a picture to go along with it. :)

I think you are just as beautiful now as you were in that picture, Bonita... Even more so with the blossoming of your character and personality.

Recovering Church Lady said...

Hi Bonita, I am new to your blog but so excited as I read over the posts about writing! This post is specially beautiful and sweet.
I am just barely beginning the journey of getting serious about the writing habit I've had my entire life. I look forward to your tips and advice!

deborahspalette said...

I am a new follower from I am a Christian Artist and Will enjoy following and picking up tips on how to be a better writer. Stop by sometime and say Hi! Hope you will consider following me too, for a little art and inspiration. What an adorable picture of you as a little girl. MaNY BLESSINGS, Deborah

Kristen Myers said...


Thank you for being the real-life encourager in my writing journey. Thank you also for encouraging me during all the seasons of my writing - Fall preparation, Springtime budding, Summer celebration, and now my Winter wait.

Many blessings to you, my friend!

Donna said...

Precious pictures, Bonita! You provide a wonderful reminder to give thanks to those dream boosters in my life.

Merry Christmas!