So there I am, driving my Jimmy down the timeless main street of Sumner, Illinois. I pull to the side, near the curb, and park in front of an old insurance agency building. I climb out, and with the wonderful (and welcomed), warm, pre-spring air gently blowing past, I make my way across the old black top thoroughfare and under the canopy of one of the towns oldest business, The Sumner Press, for an engaging, one on one interview with the publisher.
The one thing that I enjoy as I tell my stories to others is the moment they become inspired! Inspiration is such a wonderful emotion, it truly can make a mole hill out of a mountain! I opened the old and creaky, wooden door and stepped back into time. An antiquated cash register from a time gone buy greeted me as I entered the lobby.The walls, lined with photographs of memories past, announced that I was in good company!
I was then, ever so politely, welcomed by Barbara Allender, Lead Writer and Photographer for the hundred year old press. With a smile upon her face and two empty office chairs sitting close by, we sat down for an engaging interview, telling the story of the picture book project!
As a writer, I have done my share of interviews. I have to admit the ones that mean the most are those, to which, the person or people you are conversing with have a passion for the questions they are asking me and are curious themselves. Mrs. Allender, a seasoned journalist in her own right, filled her yellow notepad with every answer that I would give and fired off the next question before finishing with her notes.
As we talked I found myself being drawn back to what had inspired me to do such a project, the times with my own grandfather, driving around in the countryside! I was taken back to the sights, the smells and the sounds, only this time, I did not have to be driving my Jimmy down back roads of Lawrence County, Illinois to see, taste and hear them.
It would be a memorable hour in the hospitality of a such an inviting publication! As we finished, our interview was completed with, no other than, a handshake! Talk about appreciation! The gratitude was fully on this side of the table!