Wednesday, April 25, 2007
David Halberstam crossed my path
When I was in eighth grade I was the feature editor for the school newspaper, and very serious about pursuing a career as a newspaper writer. I was invited to go to a special conference in New York, for school newspaper editors, the culmination of which was a luncheon at a big old hotel in Manhattan. David Halberstam, the famous journalist and author who died this week, was the guest speaker.
The room was filled with young teenagers who took themselves seriously. They didn't seem at all like the kids in Chatham, New Jersey. Everyone seemed so smart and informed. I'd never experienced anything like this. Halberstam's speech was very inspiring, and it left me with the feeling that there were many more possibilities in life than I'd ever imagined before.
I can still picture that dining room. It had balconies where people were also seated. I didn't know anyone there, and I had a wonderful time. I always felt this luncheon changed my life.
And thinking on it later today, I think it made me feel as if I'd crossed into the world of "Catcher in the Rye."