Today's mail brought a large, stiff envelope with the return address reading The White House. Huh? says I, inspecting it. I opened it up, hardly knowing what to expect.
Turns out to be an autographed picture of Laura Bush, with a letter thanking me for the signed copy of The American Story which someone passed along to her. I know I signed at least two copies of the book for her -- various people with access offered to pass the book along -- and evidently at least one of them has finally made its way to her attention. "I appreciate your generosity and look forward to reading your book. With best wishes, Laura Bush" is how the letter concludes.
This reminds me of a funny period of my sleep life from six or seven years ago, the period I refer to as "my dreams about Laura Bush." In the early days of the first term I had naive hopes that with a librarian in the White House we might see some really serious attention paid to children's literacy issues. On several occasions I dreamed that I ran into the First Lady at some conference -- a librarian convention, perhaps -- and would begin a conversation something along the lines of, "Hey, it's great to see you, do you think we could get together for a cup of coffee and discuss some things?" She was like many librarians I have met at conventions over the years -- a friendly acquaintance with mutual professional interests.
After a while I stopped having those dreams.
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