2017-05-18 / Opinion

Come hug Rachel

Mary Henkel Judson

Many readers of the South Jetty, whether they have kids in school here or not, follow the accomplishments of students in our school system.

Now that I don’t have a child in the school system, but read every story we publish about the kids who are in school, I understand the attachment to the kids that other readers develop just by reading about them.

We cheer their successes and share their disappointments. We feel we “know” the kids from the stories and photos that are published in the South Jetty. We wish them the best as they step off the graduation stage and onto the next stage of life, whether it’s military service, a trade school, straight to the working world or college. As time goes by, we want to know how they’re doing.

These students and their parents are encouraged to let the South Jetty know about their dean’s list honors, military honors, professional honors, when they get engaged, married and have children. There’s a “fan club” out there whose “members” want to know how the “team” is doing.

Here’s a special treat for fan club members: Sunday, we will celebrate a major accomplishment of one of Port Aransas ISD’s “team members.”

In this day of self-publishing, rare is the author who is sought out by literary agents and attracts a major publishing house. Rachel Pearson, PAHS class of 2000, did just that.

A book signing is planned for Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the South Jetty newspaper office, 141 W. Cotter Ave.

“No Apparent Distress” is Rachel’s first book – hardback, no less – and she assures us it won’t be her last.

Rachel is familiar to South Jetty readers not only because of her academic and athletic accomplishments while a student in the Port Aransas school district, but as a columnist for the South Jetty. She developed a fan club well beyond the city limits of Port Aransas.

Through her columns, we could taste the fragrant, juicy mangoes she devoured in Mexico. We felt the cramped quarters of New York City apartments. We went to the Canary Islands, England, Tasmania, Detroit, Chicago and other locales, both near and far, with her. We went through med school with her and we fell in love with her Labrador retriever Charlie. We fell in love with Rachel.

She has been busy with medical school and writing “No Apparent Distress,” so her column hasn’t appeared in the South Jetty for some time, much to our readers’ regret. Her book is a chance to experience her prose again.

No matter your political leaning – because Rachel does admit there is a political bent to her book – I have no doubt it will be a good – make that a great -- read. After all, Rachel wrote it, and she’s told us it is written in her own story-telling style. The style we fell in love with.

Rachel says she mostly wants to hug people at the book signing.

Likely there will be lots of folks who want to hug her back.

Get in line.

Mary Henkel Judson is editor and co-publisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at editor@portasouthjetty.com, (361) 749-5131 or P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.

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