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Word Freak

Here I am, 2 a.m., back in the basement, working on this FOUND book. Today my brother Peter got in a big fight with my parents. "They think they're always right!" he shouted. I laughed a little. "Pete," I told him, "there is a find that's gonna be in the 2nd FOUND book that you got to read. It's advice exactly for what you're going through." Here it is, found tucked in the pages of a returned library book in Peyton, Colorado, by one of the librarians, a woman named Carrie Atchison. It's written in the handwriting of a young teenager:


To ALWAYS listen to whatever the elder has to say, wether its DUMB SHIT or if THEIR RIGHT. Because THEIR ALWAYS RIGHT at least thats how they feel and alot of the times they are right and alot of the times their not, but the point is YOU CAN'T EVER CHANGE HOW THEY THINK, becuase your young and ignorant so why should they. When it comes to any conversation let them say what they have to say and say you'll try to do better. If their wrong you still say sorry, because why? Because whatever words you say wont change their ------ minds. But saying you'll do better will be something they'll not be able to argue with, but you gotta actually do it, not just say it. So just let them say what they have to say, you cant change how they think no matter what so deal with it. Dont argue even if their rong, you cant change what they think, say your sorry, you'll do better, then theirs no fight, nothing you said that was stupid that you regret, so just chill let it go and take note and try harder.

Got it, Pete? I wish someone had clued me in to all of this when I was younger — it might have saved me a whole lotta turmoil.

Yesterday, I was talking about my friend Byron who is serving a life sentence at a prison in Missouri for a crime I don't believe he committed. When I visited him last week, I couldn't help but notice a bunch of Scrabble games going on in the visiting room. Scrabble's not as big as basketball at Crossroads Correctional Facility, but apparently it's pretty popular, and Byron, of course, is the reigning Scrabble champ. I know he would love one of my favorite books — Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis, an in-depth look at the world of competitive Scrabble. It's an incredibly funny portrait of the folks who've dedicated their lives to the game. Stefan tells the story of his own foray into this world. Riveting stuff, not just for Scrabble lovers, but for anyone who has ever ruggedly pursued being great at anything.

Speaking of greatness, the Pistons are 15-3!

Okay, the lunch whistle sounded, back to the FOUND assembly line.

Peace — Davy

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and... Used Trade Paper $6.95
  2. Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph,...
    Used Trade Paper $3.95
  3. Found II: More of the Best Lost,... Used Trade Paper $5.95

Davy Rothbart is the author of Found II: More of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World

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