Seven-year-old second graders Brian Pressley and Margo LeDoux met on the first day of second grade in Miss Peterson’s classroom, John Reynolds Elementary School, Quaker Valley, PA… and immediately Brian was attracted to this bilingual (English and French) girl from Ontario… and so that night, he opened up the atlas at home and found Margo’s home city of Ottawa. The next day, he couldn’t wait to tell her…
This is an excerpt from my new novella, Meeting Margo. Scroll down for more information or click here.
“Hey, Margo!” I yelled as we swung on the swings at recess the next morning. “Guess what?”
“What?” she yelled back.
We were both swinging pretty hard and we had to yell to hear each other. When I was all the way up, Margo was all the way back, and when I was all the way back… well… you get it. We’d meet briefly in the middle, but mostly we were yelling at each others’ backs.
“We have an atlas…” I yelled as we passed each other.
“A what?” Margo yelled from behind me.
“An atlas!” I yelled as we passed again. “And guess what?”
“What?” she yelled from way up in front of me. Margo was flying up almost level with the crossbar of the swingset.
“I found Ottawa!” We passed again. “On the map!” Passed again. “Ottawa!”
“So?” Margo yelled from behind me. “You want a medal‑‑” and she swung past me “–or a chest to pin it on?” and she jumped, flying in a rolling tumble onto the grassy bank at the edge of the macadam, tearing the hem of her yellow dress.
I jumped and landed in a roll next to her.
“You probably couldn’t find Quaker Valley on a map,” I said, not admitting that, without the fingernail mark, I was kind of lost myself.
“That’s ‘cause it’s petite, Bri,” she said, examining the hem of her dress.
“What’s ‘petite?’” I said.
Margo tsked. “Little.”
I sat up straight and indignant. “Quaker Valley has some of the largest apple orchards in the world!” I said.
“I know,” Margo moaned, getting up and back on the swing. “You guys and your apples…”
I hopped on the swing next to Margo and we started back up. Margo built up a head of steam pretty quickly.
“Well, what happened in Ottawa?” I yelled.
“Mom… married… Dad… and they… had… me!!” Margo yelled as she flew past me back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…
About Meeting Margo…
I love Margo LeDoux. I always have and I always will. I loved her, really, from the moment I set eyes on her: Tuesday morning, August 28, 1967, in Miss Peterson’s second grade class, General John F. Reynolds Elementary School, Quaker Valley, PA.
A prequel to my coming-of-age novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson, Meeting Margo tells the story of how seven-year-old Brian Pressley met and became best friends with Quebecoise tomboy Margo LeDoux.
My published novels evolved from a sprawling multi-binder mass of prose which I’ve both alluded to in those books and mined for short stories. In re-reading that work, I thought “You know, this isn’t BAD…” At the same time, readers of You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson kept telling me that they “missed the characters” and wanted more.
So here’s more!
Meeting Margo was published this past winter as a Kindle short, and will be published in a print edition in early June, along with a followup novella entitled Margo Moves In. These two novellas will take the reader up to the beginning of You Don’t Think She Is.