Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

Live Like Mona

Filed in Stories, voices, Writing :: December 5, 2011

Mona is an irresistible force. In January, she left a voice mail message requesting personal writing instruction.   I intended to invite her to come to my writers’ group.  By the end of the call I had agreed to visit her.  By the end of the visit I had agreed to help her write a children’s book.

Morgan and the Bear is the story of Mona’s father, Morgan, who, at 14, went into the woods with his little brother to hunt a bear that threatened his family and his pioneer community in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century Estero Island, now Ft. Myers, on the west coast of Florida.

Mona is 90 years old, and Mona is tireless. Today she took copies of the book to our Chamber of Commerce for them to sell.  She plans to speak about it to civic and cultural groups all over Miami.  She plans to send copies to the Estero Island historic society.

Mona lives with urgency. She tells me every time we talk that she has a lot still to do.

Mona is generous and humble. She asked me to sign some copies of the book.  I want to write, “Live like Mona,” but I know she wouldn’t allow it.

So I will try to live like Mona, and I will sign them, “Tell your story.”