An  email arrived this morning (January 21, 2013).

“Mr. Neufeld:

I am a 45 year old man who grew up in the South in the 70s.  My parents were old enough to be my grandparents and as a result, they never talked (at all) about sex or explained to me “the birds and the bees” as they used to say back then.

I was a shy, introverted, sheltered kid.  My parents broke up when I was ten because my father was an abusive alcoholic.  He spent a lot of time drinking and chasing women, so I didn’t get much of his time or attention.  We definitely loved each other (and still do) but there was no Andy and Opie relationship between us when  I was growing up.

Not only was I clueless, I was ignorant about sex and I had no idea where babies came from.  My classmates were a little ahead of me, but I’m certain their parents didn’t tell them much of anything either.

I used to love to go to the library and check out books. It was one of my favorite past times next to watching repeats of The Flintstones and playing with my Evel Knievel toys.  I read a lot of books in those days…very few of them do I remember by title or subject matter. I do, however, remember “Freddy’s Book.”

As a kid, I stumbled across “Freddy’s Book” and that was the first book that told me what I did not know about sex.  It told me what my parents were too uncomfortable to talk to me about.  I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I read the book but that title (and the subject matter) has stuck with me my entire life.

Recently I was thinking about my childhood and I started doing Google searches to find out who wrote “Freddy’s Book.” Thanks to the miracle of the internet,I am not only able to buy a copy of the book as a keepsake, but I am able to write to the author and tell you THANK YOU for having that talk with me that I wish my father would have had.  I know you didn’t talk to me literally, but the book was the next best thing to having that talk that all fathers and sons should have.

I have tried off and on to write books myself, so I know how difficult it can be to produce a finished product and get it published.  I don’t know what you had to endure to succeed as a writer, but whatever it was, it was worth it. I want to make sure that you know that your efforts in writing that book are appreciated by me and probably countless others who grew up in that era.

As I’m sure you already know, we are in a completely different era now.  They say the average child watches pornography on a daily basis via the internet and/or mobile devices.That is the interesting paradox about all of this: Back then, many of us were ignorant and we learned about sex from our peers and from “the streets.”  Now, kids are bombarded with so much sexual information they suffer from a different type of ignorance…the ignorance that comes from too much physical/sexual contact and not enough of connecting on a social, intellectual, or emotional level.

I’m glad I got the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.  Please let me know that you received my email.

Take care.



53 thoughts on “WHY I WRITE II

  1. Bravo John! And Bravo “K” for making the effort to contact the author. I love this story. Feedback is so important in our work. As an amateur writer I’ve recently been sitting around asking myself, ‘why should I bother writing. It’s such hard work, and nobody really cares.’

  2. Jack wants to know where he can find Freddy’s book? This is the second time you’ve heard from a grateful reader,no? I think that must be so gratifying- thanks for sharing xxoo.

    Sent from my iPad

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