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To Clarice Foster – Rest in Peace

May 26, 2012

Boy Howdy my friend Gail would say. You lost three inspirational women in three weeks time. She is right. My senior AP teacher died this week at 95. Well, of course she would give it all, that’s what she did. How to begin. Her first words to me were “I expect you to be as diligent as your sister.” I thought “C’mon that’s not fair. Adrienne is just brilliant; I’m not that.” Throughout the year she taught me about writing, comma splices; run-ons, fragments and everything else. She would be embarrassed by my current bad grammar in my blogs. One day after class she said “stop writing and think.” Ok, I guess I understood.

She retired the year I graduated from HS. I loved her and respected her even though most papers were A/F. I couldn’t help my run – ons. What are you going to do Valerie?

I remember that day well, I remember what I was wearing still today. Looking into her eyes with confidence. ” I will write and through my writing I will live in Paris and drive a Maserati.” She said “Good; but remember, always write what you know.”

I never drove a Maserati and really don’t care to anymore; my love for Paris has been replaced by my love for Rome and I do write. I write what I know. Dearest Clarice, I will address you informally as you asked. Just please don’t get too tangled up in heaven with James Joyce; but then again you can handle it and my beloved Jean Rhys will welcome you! It’s now twilight and as the color of the sky darkens from blue to black I want to thank you, Clarice Foster for giving so much to me…


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  1. Valerie, it is great that you had such a mentor early, who obviously made an impression on you that continues to this day. She will live a long time because of it.

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