When I was a child I watched this film and it had a profound effect on me. First of all, the child actress Mary Badham portrayed in the character of Scout reminded me so much of myself. I was such a tomboy and still am. I would have given anything to wear overalls to school but school policy was little girls had to wear dresses. So I totally related to this character but then I got caught up in the story. I grew up in a town that was predominately white back in Kansas but I knew in my heart of hearts even as a child that all people of the world were created by God and created equal. Had I not sang the song, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red, and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus Loves the little children of the world”.
Then years later I found out this film was a book, oh joy of joy, I checked it out at the Eureka Public Library to read and became lost in the story. I watched that film every time it came on and read that book every year as to me it is my favorite book of all time.
When the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was to be celebrated in Monroeville, Alabama, I bought tickets to everything took my daughters and the oldest brand new boyfriend on a road trip to Alabama. We roamed the streets, found the place where Harper Lee lived and Truman Capote, visited the bookstore, ate in the local eatery, visited in the infamous courthouse taking photos everywhere we went. To go on a literary adventure brought the whole memory of lifetime of watching the film and reading the book into a family memory that I will never forget.
We then went on to a special talk by the child actress, Mary Badham, now a grown woman not much older than myself. I watched in wonder as we sat in the courthouse setting and talked personally to her. She signed our books and my daughters and now son-in-law had a real conversation with her. I knew then at that moment my son-in-law was going to be a keeper.
Later we had bought tickets to an outdoor performance of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and then into the courthouse to watch the infamous trial. The judge who portrayed in the production invited us after to come join his church service at The First United Methodist Church of where the Harper Lee and her sister had attended. He gave us a personal tour afterwards of the church and their story.
So as I begin the latest chapter of my life as the new Director of Acquisitions at Lucid House Publishing this is forever on my mind. It’s all about the story. Stories that open our eyes to people’s lives that may be different than our own. Opens our eyes to the injustices of the world and champions people like the character Atticus Fitch, Scout’s attorney father in the story. Our sharing of stories creates through community ways of understanding to be kind, be more loving, walk in somebody’s else shoes for awhile to help us, especially in the eyes of child. Those are the stories that I am looking for from all peoples from all parts of the world. We can change the ways of the world by reading one book at a time, one author at a time, and one boob at at time. Stay tuned for how I would like to take my Pulpwood Queens Book Club more globally and more diverse.
I am giving it my all as I know this is the last chapter of my life. This is my legacy I live to all the next generations of readers. This is my story. This is your story. It’s all about the story. Won’t you join us on this reading journey?
Please watch this entire film, please read the entire book. And just like the angry mob that gathered on the courthouse steps, you too will see that in the innocence of a child we can truly find love and understanding in this world.
Truly, Tiara Wearing and “To Kill a Mockingbird” Sharing,
Kathy L. Murphy
Artist/Author/Founder of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs and Author of “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life”
P.O. Box 1220
Hawkins, Texas 75765 – 1220
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