July 7, 2018

My unconscious role model

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

As a child I read a lot of your books.  I read every one I could find, even the ones not marketed for kids.  I loved them and they helped my love who I was.  I was weird, and the books gave me this sense that, although being weird might not be appreciated by my peers, out in the wider world there were places where weirdness had currency.  Somewhere out there were “my people,”  and if I could make it through childhood I could find them.   

Well I did make it through childhood, and did all sorts of fun things as an adult, and now I lead a generally great and fun life.  Your stories, though, were forgotten, until just last year.  As I was getting ready to have a child, I started to remember the books of my youth, and I started to reread the Pinkwater oeuvre.  As I read more and more I was struck by a wonderful realization.   By making the choices I had made in life, I had become a Pinkwater character!

My life seems normal to me, but if I write down what I do, I seem like a crazy character from your books.  I live on a communal homestead in a hand built house that is dug into a hillside.  On this homestead I grew, and eat, unusual fruit from all over the world, as well as regular vegetables, chickens, etc….  To support my hobby of growing unusual fruit I work as a puppeteer, classical guitar player, and emcee for hire.  This is just the big picture stuff too.  There are lots of other little things I am passionate about.  To name just a few, I have a large collection of hippopotamus figurines, I have tried every flavor of ice cream (out of 50+) at my local stand, and I recently bought pasta with 5 foot long noodles for a slurping competition.

I don’t say these things to brag.  Well maybe I do. But they also illustrate a point.  Reading your books later in life gave me a wonderful  gift.  It validated the choices I have made thus far.  If I am becoming a Daniel Pinkwater character, I must be doing something right.  In my youth they set out the path for me, and now they have confirmed that I got there successfully.  Thank you for everything!


Daniel replies:

Thank you for telling us about your perfectly normal and conventional life. I know it seems unique and unusual to you, but that's how everyone feels about their life.  You are a farmer who enjoys music and has some hobbies--I think that's very nice.  Also you like to read, and you like my books, of course I am gratified and flattered.  Of course you are not a Daniel Pinkwater character.  Daniel Pinkwater characters are me!