Tuesday December 3, 2013 One Book, One Community presents Meet the Author: Ted Gup who wrote A Secret Gift. The event was held on Malone University’s Campus, in Canton. The land Malone now sits on once played host to the Stark County Infirmary, or Children’s Home, or Poor House.
This night was reserved for the event that would galvanize, Canton, Ohio Christmas week, of 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression. Ted Gup graciouly signed books from 6:00 P.M. to a little after 7:00 P.M. The campus dining room began to swell with the people who were interested in hearing the author of such an emotional book speak, in his own words, of the how it wasn’t his story, but our story. People are drawn to people, and so this story is about ourselves, and how we deal with the world around us, and with each other.
As we stood in line, we could hear people in front of us talking about their relatives who were in the book. I introduced myself, and let him know that we were taking good care of “his” letters. He signed my book, and gave me a directive, in his message, to take care of the past, and thank you. I was deeply moved, and did not take the directive lightly.
Ted’s mother Virginia was with him; and he showed us some images of his grandfather Sam, some letters, and his grandfather’s “passport.” His presentation was half speaking, and half disscussion. He really couldn’t wait to listen to our stories and field our questions. The entire experience was moving, and inspirational.
It was such a pleasure to hear Mr. Gup speak about what truly was a labor of love. Thank you, McKinley Presidential Library and Museum for taking such good care of the letters and making such a beautiful exhibit of A Secret Gift!