ALWAYS KNOW WHEN TO EXIT THE STAGE.
Almost ten years ago, while teaching in Pine Bluff, my hometown, I approached the local newspaper editor about running an eight or twelve-week series of my Great Wall Experiences. I didn't expect money, I simply wanted to share a few highlights from my journey with those who would never travel China’s Great Wall. I thought it could be a wonderful series that might attract new subscribers to Pine Bluff’s only newspaper and increase readership. Best of all, reading how my Great Wall Dream started as a young student... just might motivate a student or two… to believe in their dreams.
After reviewing some of my Great Wall photos and my writing samples, the editor said he was impressed with what he saw and read BUT, unfortunately, the series wouldn't be "timely". Because my journey of the Great Wall had taken place in 1990...and now the year was 2010….it was considered very “old” news.
Excuse me, what is the definition of HISTORY?!?!?!? I was the first woman in HISTORY to travel the entire length of the Great Wall of China. I possess one-of-a-kind photos! I am the First Person to document The Great Wall from beginning to end! My first-ever Facts are historic! HISTORY IS TIMELESS; HISTORY MARCHES IN LOCK-STEP WITH ALL TIME!
I was raised in Pine Bluff; the idea of traveling The Great Wall began in Pine Bluff--- in a Pine Bluff Classroom--- and my dream was nurtured by a Pine Bluff Teacher!!!! I had exclusive, never-before- seen photos of the Great Wall and I was offering the Editor of my home town newspaper exclusive rights to never-before-published photos and written information. But.... I know when it’s time to exit the stage. I also know when I’m traveling on a one-way street---headed in the wrong direction.
After gathering my photos and writing samples, I turned to leave the editor’s office, and that’s when the editor stopped me with a request: I could hardly believe it when the editor asked if I’d stay “a little longer” and be interviewed about my “alleged” affair with Bill Clinton!
Continuing to walk ahead, out the door, and straight to my car…I didn’t stop long enough to dignify the editor’s request…. with an answer.