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Monday
Apr112011

The girl with the straw hat

I had a great time in California for Woodland Reads, where I spoke at a luncheon, a high school, a college, and then the main evening event. But the most delightful part of a truly splendid (and busy) day was meeting Mae Yanagi Ferral and her family.

Mae is the little girl in the photo next to the title page in HOTEL. I found the image from Dorothy Lange Collection in the U.S. Archives, but didn't know who any of the people were, until someone at an event in Louisville, of all places, recognized her. Months later Mae wrote to me and was gracious enough to be my "Ultra Secret Guest" in Woodland, where she signed books and pointed out her mother (behind, to the right) who was very pregnant at the time and gave birth two weeks later.

Then I was off to Seattle for a weekend fundraiser. More on that tomorrow.

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Reader Comments (3)

I think it fantastic that the only 'real' individual in Hotel other than Oscar Holden happens to be be recognized in another time zone and seeks you out to add caveat to an already fabulous story. Does she remember having her picture taken?
April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Dubé
Well - preview is not my friend - ever. The word should be cachet, not caveat. I wish I could shoot myself.
April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Dubé
That is so awesome, Jamie. I didn't know how the image had been obtained, but the story behind it and the resulting recognition by someone else is so cool. I can just imagine how much fun it was to meet them in person.
April 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Stallsworth

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