Thursday, January 29, 2009
Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz died yesterday and the world is a poorer poorer place today. It's not possible to take in this news yet. I didn't know Kathy so well, and I'm sure there will be others who to euologize her. Kate's the one I know. I knew.
There was nobody like Kate McClelland. She wasn't just one in a million, she was one in a lifetime. Children all over this country have benefitted from her work and her passion. We publishers have made better books because of her.
You slog to these conferences in the middle of winter and over 4th of July weekend, and you wonder why you do it, and then -- there's Kate. In chunky jewelry with the asymmetrical hair and the glasses on the beaded chain and the japonaiserie and the huge hug and the conspiratorial voice and you think -- Oh, that's it. That's why I'm here. I'm here because of the Kate McClellands of this world. Not that the plural even applies.
Go to the Perrot Memorial Library site and just take a look at what Kathy and Kate did in their town. Then expand that to New York publishing and American librarianship and you'll begin, begin, to understand why they will be so profoundly missed. This is the sad sad posting on the site this morning:
There will be no children's programs on Thursday, January 29th, or Friday, January 30th.
Kate dear -- I hope to God they have wi-fi wherever you are, because last night my husband asked me how old you were and I told him early sixties? Sixty-five maybe? And I read in the paper you were 71! Seventy-one! You were sure fooling me, babe.
At the ALA you and I were talking about how some people never age. Well, darling Kate, some people will never die, and you are one of them.