Homer Simpson’s Hometown Meeting

The girl with the gentle smile came up behind me, quietly, like a five-year old who knows not to interrupt when mommy is talking.

I’d just finished a talk at City Hall in Springfield, Oregon. Yes. The very home of Homer Simpson.

Reading at the Benton County Library

As far as I know none of the Simpsons were in the audience, although, I can’t say for sure since I knew very few of the crowd by name.

Aaron Donley was there.

I met him first. He was loitering outside the City Hall meeting room, same as me, waiting for someone to come along and open the door. We were the first to arrive for the 11 a.m. meeting. I don’t make a habit of being early, although I do make a habit of being friendly.

“Hi,” I said, offering my hand, “I’m Karen Zacharias.”

“Karen Zacharias?” he said, turning his head the way Poe does when he’s trying to figure something confusing out.

“Yes,” I said.

“I know you.”

That didn’t surprise me. The meeting had been well-reported. I was joining with Dave Ziegler, director (30 years) of Jasper Mountain, a family treatment center, and Greg Ahlijian, author of The Large Rock and The Little Yew, a children’s story of hope and survival.

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