Home Again, Home Again

Once I got over the shock of seeing slot machines everywhere (this was my first trip to Nevada), I loved everything about my visit to Carson City for the Nevada Young Readers Award presentation. 

First thing I loved: the blue sky and the scenery. Gorgeous! I’d love to go back and do some hiking. Second thing, getting a tiny bit of time to hang with best bud and partner in crime, Mary Nethery. We only had to walk a mile to find espresso on Saturday morning! (Comma Coffee, if you’re ever in Carson City) Third thing, meeting Mark Fink, winner of the NYRA intermediate award, along with his sweet wife Susan. Mark had a long career in writing TV sitcoms until he came to his senses and chose to write books. 😉 I just finished reading  Stepping Up last night and can see why the kids of Nevada loved it so much. Fast-paced and funny, the story has lots of basketball. . .and lots of heart.

Conference coordinator, Beth Heggeness, took the authors to dinner at Adele’s on Friday night — if you ever find yourself in Carson City, put that wonderful restaurant on your itinerary!

The best thing about the quick trip, however, was the Saturday morning event. The Nevada Library Association paid for a school bus to bring some 80 kids in for the ceremony; the two schools represented serve apartments, motels and a homeless shelter. One of the girls I met told me she’d gotten up at 4 a.m., she was so excited. And PermaBound, represented by Carrie Nelson, not only paid for travel expenses for Mary, Mark and me, they also bought each kid attending a copy of one of the books. And the kids themselves presented our awards to us. I was in tears when the young lady presented Mark’s award to him. Later, a very tough-looking middle schooler came up to me. “Were you crying when B. was talking?” I was kind of afraid to admit it to her, but I fessed up. She punched me in the arm and said, “Me, too.”
This kid designed placemat says, “Is that what the Bobbies deserved? No!”

I came home with a beautiful plaque but it is not nearly as beautiful as the memories of that amazing day. Bravo to the Nevada Library Association and bravo to Permabound for making a big impact on some very deserving kids’ lives.

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