Standing on the corner in Tucson, Arizona

Dreadlocks. A young guy holding a sign. Seeing him from across the street, I figured his sign said something like, “Need to get to Santa Fe by Christmas day.” I was wrong.

Instead, drivers or walkers leaving the El Con Mall this morning saw “Smiles are contagious,”accompanied by a smiley face drawing.

“Wow, that’s great,” I (of course) told the young man. He had been homeless for a while, he told us, adding, “People don’t smile enough.”

I wished him a “Happy 2017.”

Back home sitting at my computer, the perfect quote from a favorite children’s book showed up on Facebook. I thought about the young man with dreadlocks.


from “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” by William Steig

“When they had eventually calmed down a bit, and had gotten home, Mr. Duncan put the magic pebble in an iron safe. Some day they might want to use it, but really, for now, what more could they wish for? They all had all that they wanted.”
— William Steig, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

I loved all of William Steig’s books. When I invited him to visit OZ Books, he wrote back, “Sorry I can’t turn up in Maine.” Years later, I met Steig at a booksellers’ convention. He was in his 80s, with twinkly blue eyes. He said that he remembered my letter and he kissed me on my cheek.

 I’m not in Maine anymore. The sun is out. I’m surrounded by books. We’re having dinner at the Welcome Diner with friends. Someone reminded me to smile. 



This entry was posted in Bopping Around Tucson, Mount Desert Island/Maine, Tucson Festival of Books/good books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Standing on the corner in Tucson, Arizona

  1. Marilee Marchese says:

    Every little bit helps, doesn’t it? Happier new year. xo

  2. sheilawill says:

    Yes, it’s true! Same to you and Ken!

  3. Gail Willett says:

    Thanks Sheila. Happy New Year. Gail

  4. sheilawill says:

    Children’s books in all their glory will always be with us. Same to you and your family, Gail!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s