In the midst of this grim plod through the wasteland came a wonderful unexpected oasis. A talented young gay man came to work in the art department. We became friends, went to parties, dined together on lunch hour at a clever little restaurant that offered a floor show of local comedians. I told him about my writing and he read one of my novels and loved it. He gave it to his mother to read and she shared it with her friends. It soon made the rounds (as I recall in both Atlanta and Columbia. People asked questions about the book – things like which character I was and how I came up with this or that and what was the meaning of… – It was all I had hoped for and more precious than money! I embraced it and relished it with all that was in me. – Even now I look back at it a one of the grandest episodes of my life.
I was not published yet, but it validated what I had known all along. Real people like myself would like what I had written if they ever got to read it. It had some of them in it the way it had some of me. At a time when I was starting to lose heart, there it was like a light shining down from heaven, like God kissing me on the check and drying my tears. – I could go on!