Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Field of American Dreams - my guest post on Rough and Rede
Remember when I introduced George Rede, Portland Oregonian editor and my mentor at the Asian American Journalists Association convention? I was a spry college student back then; I jumped when he said jump, helped along by the fact that he said it nicely. He taught me a lot about how to work under pressure and not lose your cool.
Twenty years later, he hasn't lost his mojo. Inviting me to submit a piece for his blog, Rough and Rede, he said he wanted to include me as part of a project to connect people in his life through guest posts through the month of August. Feeling a little pressure to do an extra good job for my old mentor, I punted. It was an honor to be asked, I want to take the assignment seriously, now is not a good time, I'm about to go traveling, etc.
In the nicest way, he did not take no for an answer. "How about a deadline of no later than Aug 3?" he replied. OK, George. You say jump, I say, How high?
He gave the following prompts:
If you're stumped, consider these alliterative categories, which reflect my own interests: 1. baseball, books, bowling. 2. movies, music, mass media. 3. reading, running, religion. Or, maybe a guilty pleasure ... or current events ... or a recent epiphany. Whatever.
Writers can't resist prompts. Look at the categories, what stories spring to mind? Right away, moments from childhood, good times with friends, turning points, moments and people I hadn't thought about in ages came flooding in. I was smiling and then laughing and then on the phone with my dad asking if he was as happy as I was the night we saw fireworks at Yankee Stadium, if he felt as I did, that we finally belonged in America.
My guest post, "Field of American Dreams" is up on George's blog today. It is one of my favorite stories, one I might not have recalled or written about with such pleasure had I not been asked. Thank you, George, for eliciting it and giving it a place of honor at Rough and Rede. And for not taking no for an answer.