My husband was at the library with the kids the other day. The children’s librarian, Peri (she’s iconic in Ashland and much loved), said to James, “How about that letter about Jennifer?”
“What letter?” James asked.
Here’s the letter:
Thanks so much for Jennifer Margulis’ lovely article about geocaching and letterboxing! They sound like delightful and fun activities for families, combining the world of electronics and the great outdoors. I hope many get involved. It was great to read Margulis’ words again. I loved her parenting columns that ran every Monday in the Tidings some time ago and deeply regretted their ending. There was always a marvelous honesty, transparency, authenticity and deep humanity about her words that touched even an old geezer like me whose parenting days are long in the past!
Mondays are a bit of a downer for me, but the day was brightened by anticipation of reading her column. I especially remember with gratitude her articles from her family’s time in Niger — so much sensitivity and compassion and love of humanity. She was a real spiritual support for me. I’d love to read her thoughtful and gracious words regularly again!
Rev. Tom Murphy
I wrote a popular column in the Ashland Daily Tidings. “Tales From the Crib” ran for about three and a half years. It ended because I found out I was not being compensated fairly. I asked the editor simply to pay me the same amount as he was paying a male columnist. That column in question, written by a man, by the way, was not nearly as well read or popular as my column. But nonetheless Bob Hunter, who was the editor at the time, refused to compensate me equally. Bob offered to give me a raise for my work but refused to pay me equally. I felt the newspaper was acting in an unethical and sexist way. So I stopped writing the column, quitting on principle. We parted company over $15 a week.
It ended up being not only a principled but also a smart career decision for me. After I stopped writing the Tidings column, I was hired by Mothering magazine as a contributing editor. Part of my job was to write a column published on-line, “Mothering Outside the Lines,” which we updated three times a week until the magazine went to on-line only.
I was very moved reading this heartfelt letter. It’s nice to be noticed. I’m grateful to Reverend Tom Murphy, whom I do not know personally, for taking the time to write such kind words.
Published: November 10, 2009
Last update: February 4, 2020