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A Christmas Tale 2018


Long ago and far away, in northern northern New Jersey, there lived a little girl who dreamed of becoming a writer. She asked many questions of adults around her about how to fulfill her dream.


One adult was a woman writer from Lapland who had just received publication of her somewhat autobiographical book. As part of her book promotion activities in America, she appeared one winter’s eve during the Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting at the Broadway Baptist Church. This house of worship was the childhood church of this little girl who yearned to be a writer.

This eight-year-old girl was given permission to ask a question of Mrs. Lapland after her lecture was concluded. She calmly inquired:


“How did you get your book published?”


Laughter resounded in the meeting room, but the question was not truly answered. The little girl politely thanked Mrs. Lapland for the information that wasn’t of much use to her.


Adolescence brought this little girl to larger venues, and to the phase of being That Girl. By that time, she’d decided upon the soon-to-be-temporary route of journalism to gain publication of her yet-to-be-written works. The teacher of her junior-year-Journalism Class somehow arranged for a soapbox appearance by Geraldo Rivera, the hot-shot “Eyewitness News” investigative reporter from across the river, in New York City. At that time, Mr. Rivera was merely witnessing the news; he’d not yet become part of it, and a central part of it as well.

Geraldo was all set to answer unscripted questions from a few selected students in the Journalism Class. That Girl was one of the students.


The room used for The Appearance was the Chorus Rehearsal Room, which did not have a very large stage, as did the High School Auditorium. Gerald thus stood large on that stage, like a finely dressed turkey, in his platform shoes. Most of the girls in the room, including The Teacher, swooned, but That Girl was not impressed by the preening of the peacock on the platform in his platforms with a platform of social injustice, a posture he would spend decades bilking for better conditions for himself.


The time came for That Girl to pose her question to the poseur. She sat erectly in her seat and, in a clear, confident voice, she asked:

“How did you get your job?”


Geraldo breezily laughed, “That’s a good one.”


Amidst groans from the small student body in the room, the Investigative Reporter platform-heeled-it to the other end of the stage. He pointed to another student to ask his question. Before the Boy opened his mouth, That Girl stated:


“You haven’t answered my question, Mr. Rivera.”


He smiled, and that smile was the end of what That Girl later found out was a Follow-Up. That Girl was a dog with a bone.


Indeed, she was. Many years later, decades in fact, That Girl, who had grown to become That Woman, found out just how Mr. Rivera got his job. She fully understood why he did not answer that very direct question. The audience was wayyyy too young for that truth, at least That Girl was!


Yes, Debra, there is a Santa Claus after all!