“By the way, did I tell you about talking to Stephen King by telephone when I was in China?” asked my 15-year-old son Chris on a recent car ride.
“Excuse me?” I asked. My son had been sharing many exciting tales from his trip to China, but this tidbit had been nonchalantly neglected. Speaking to internationally acclaimed authors certainly is not an everyday occurrence for this bozo-on-the-bus family that we are.
“Yeah. In the mornings for breakfast I sat with the former mayor of Bangor and he told me he was friends with Stephen King,” recounted my son.
As part of his study trip to China this summer, Chris participated in sister-city ceremonies with officials from Bangor, Me, (where Mr. King resides for part of the year) and Harbin, China. Among the Maine entourage was former mayor Gerry Palmer, a life-long friend of Mr. King. My son’s trip to China this summer was a culmination of four summer study years with the Chinese Culture and Language Center of Maine.
“Yeah, I didn’t believe him when he told me and so he said he’d give Mr. King a call,” said Chris.
And before he knew it, Chris, who has never even read a Stephen King novel, was sharing with the famous author about his experiences and perceptions of Chinese culture and life.
Mr. King listened to and chatted with a 15-year-old boy and encouraged him to keep reaching for the world.
“I think when I’m an old man in my 80s, I’ll probably still be telling this story to people about my summer in China and how I got to speak with Stephen King,” said my son.
I bet Mr. King will be pleased with a story that has an ending like that.