The Fabry Family

Connect with Me

Connect with Chris on Facebook Follow Chris on Twitter Watch Chris on YouTube

Featured Books

Featured Books
New Release!

Personal Stuff

My Photo
Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
View my complete profile

Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

Search

Visitor Count

Visitor Count:
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I remember the excitement. Bone-thrilling anticipation. I was going to meet my favorite writer and listen to him speak and buy a signed copy of his new book. Even take a picture if they would allow it.

I drove an hour to a massive bookstore and wandered the stacks on several floors and looked at the pictures of the famous writers who had been there before and thought this was the most holy of places. This collection of talent and wit and literary acumen was unparalleled.

Chairs were set up throughout a room down a narrow hallway and there was a stack of books at the front and a lectern. I positioned myself about halfway back near a speaker. I didn’t want to be first in line, I wanted to linger on every word, every story told, and wait for our meeting.

My favorite author is a raconteur, a storyteller, a fabulist. He spun a web of stories that night that lingered over the audience like a fog, shrouding us with elegance and beauty and pain. He told some stories about his childhood that made sense of his writing, that explained why he had chosen to put down his stories. It was wonderful and sad and triumphant.

Now you must understand that I had stalked this writer for years. I had gone to his home state and even vacationed near his home, thinking that I might catch a glimpse of him in his natural habitat. I caught no glimpse, but there was born inside an insatiable desire to one day shake his hand, look him in the eye, and tell him what his stories meant to me.

When the talk was over I got in line and waited, listening to the laughter and titters and stories around me. People whose lives had been enriched by this man. Former classmates of his. Friends from around the country. Cultured and refined people. I remained silent, inching forward as he took time with each person, even allowing photos to be snapped.

When it was my turn he asked my name and what I wanted signed. I told him. And then, fumbling over my words like a nervous schoolboy, I revealed as much as I could about what his writing had meant to me, how I had been moved.

He looked past me, toward the line. Perhaps there was someone there he knew. Perhaps he was hungry and wanted to go to dinner and was gauging how much longer he would need to sign. Or perhaps there was a beautiful woman behind me that caught his eye.

I can’t remember what he said, exactly, but in that moment I sensed something I will never forget. It was a feeling that springs from the bottom of life’s well and churns and bubbles up. Disappointment. A feeling that others behind me were more important. I was an obstruction. Another book to sign. Please move forward.

Let me hasten to say that if he had stood and embraced me and asked me to dinner afterward, it would have been a letdown. Nothing he could have done would have lived up to the affection in my heart. But this was…well, rejection at worst and indifference at best.

I didn’t get my picture taken with him. Maybe I had lost the desire. I snapped one from my perch beyond the table, with him alone, red-faced, signing his name, smiling at the person behind me. It was a good picture. Wall-worthy, even.

Driving home I felt the inexpressible loss of a dream. Foolish to think this writer, this famous person, would in any way regard me. I had conjured up this grand connection between us, a literary umbilical chord. But there was no attachment from his side of the page.

“How was it?” my wife said when I returned.

“It was okay,” I said. “He told some great stories.”

I had the photo developed and decided to give him another chance. To give me another chance, really. The dream lives in the hearts of readers. Hope is hard to kill. You can put your foot on its neck but it will rise just about every time.

I put the photo in an envelope with a short note, asking him to sign it. I included a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Perhaps it never reached him. Perhaps he tossed it away. It never returned.

There is more to this story, however. Much more.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris -

I know the feeling you describe perfectly and there is only one person in my life that I ever felt that type of admiration for, she is also an author, and talk show host and even though I was thrilled beyond words, and invested time, money and energy into showing her how much of an impact she had, what you wrote, "I had conjured up this grand connection between us, a literary umbilical chord. But there was no attachment from his side of the page." - not only is poignant, but truly sums up something I couldn't see for years, until she cut me off without a word. And of course, now I want to know the rest of your story! :) Thanks a lot... lol - Stacy Harp

Anonymous said...

The experience, Chris, that you had with your wonderful author, reminded me of an elementary school teacher I once had. Ms. J. taught a split class of 3rd and 4th graders. I was in 3rd grade. She seemed to really give much undivided attention to all the children. But, of course, there were those that were the "teacher's" pets. (I certainly was not one of them). Long story short: Ms. J. had announced she was going to be able to choose two girls & two boys to be students in her all-4th grade class next year. I had definitely, no doubt thought the two girls that she would choose would most certainly be Linda K. and Margaret J...But to my delight, Ms. J. had chosen Linda H. and believe it or not, me! We were two, not-the-most outgoing students, even on the quiet-side. Well, it was probably a very insignificant thing to have experienced as a young, plain-Jane underdog. It really meant "the world" to me, though. It reminds me how our Lord & Savior loves us so very, very much. And how He wants us to know that we are not insignificant in His eyes, but His precious children who are called on to be "someone" for Him & His Kingdom! A-men? (I, too, would love to know the rest of your story) Love your radio show & blog. R. Yankee

ately