Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Karen is All the Agent I Need

Here's a story I meant to tell a long time ago, with a possible follow-up that happened just this morning....

Last July, my wife Karen was one of many California county officials who met in Sacramento to talk about disaster preparedness. On her way out the door, almost as a joke, I handed her a signed copy of A Fire Story and said, “Give this to the most important person you see.”

Later that day, it’s announced that Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to meet with a small group of those county officials to hear their disaster stories. A list is prepared; Karen isn’t on it. She walks up to the aide and says, “I need to be on that list.” The aide says, “Sorry, the governor only has time to hear from a few people.” “I don’t need to tell him my story,” says Karen. “This book is my story.” The aide looks at A Fire Story and says, “That’s YOU?!” and adds her to the list. And that’s how she handed my book to Newsom, who thanked her sincerely and promised to read it.

That afternoon, Karen called me and said, "Guess who I gave your book to."

Today I'm told that the California State Libraries, in cooperation with the Governor's Office, is putting together an exhibition of books about California by California authors, which will be displayed in the Governor's Mansion and then added to the library's permanent collection. They'd like A Fire Story to be part of it.

I can only wonder, and will never know, if Karen's chutzpah back in July had anything to do with this neat recognition now.

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