Backgammon Board Briefcase

19 Aug

My friend Leah wrote a blog post today called “I Was an Entrepreneur at Age 12,” which reminded me of my own start in the working world.  I was 9 or 10 years old and found, somewhere, a backgammon board (minus the pieces).  With its handle and clasps, I though the board was a briefcase and treated it as such.  It being 1988 or ’89, rollerstaking was all the rage, and I used to skate around the neighborhood with my briefcase, much like an office professional would head off to work.

Around the corner from my house was the headquarters of Mainstream Magazine, a publication “by, for and about people with disabilities.”   I didn’t know much about disabilities at that age, but I knew I loved to read and write, and I was fascinated by the fact that a real magazine was created right down the street.

That’s how it came to be that one day, I wrote a letter introducing myself, stuck it in my backgammon board briefcase, and rollerstaked to Mainstream’s offices.  What I didn’t know at the time was that Mainstream’s publisher and editor are two of the most kind, inspiring people on the face of the planet.  They read my letter and welcomed me into their offices, “hiring” me to do non-glamorous but super-exciting-to-me work that surely is now done by machines.  I learned so much from Bill and Cyndi, and am thankful that we are able to stay connected now due to Facebook.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to be them, having some random kid skate up to your office and ask for a job.  I am sure they probably laughed, because it must have been quite a sight!  But in my memories of that day, and the subsequent days, I only remember them being gracious and supportive.  Those are memories I treasure.

And now, all these years later?  I work in public relations, working with reporters and writing for a living.  Just goes to show you never know how things will work out…

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