Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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A Photo of Lenny

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Maybe it's just me.  But this blew me away.

I was having a Twitter conversation with a reader and friend who was once on Sesame Street as a child.  She even linked me to the video on YouTube.  

It reminded me of the time I was on Romper Room School at age 4 or 5 (Romper Room School is infinitely less cool than Sesame Street, so I'm not comparing them in that regard--it just reminded me).  And I dug into some old photo albums, sure I could find the photo.  It was up on my bathroom wall maybe a decade or so ago.  So it's not as if I haven't seen it since I was a child.  It's not even as if I've moved since I last saw it.  It's in my house somewhere.

I never found it.

But here's what I did find.  A photo of Lenny Horowitz, the teacher who was nearly single-handedly responsible for putting my feet on the path to a career in fiction.  It's cut from a high school yearbook.  I'm figuring this to be about circa 1970, or 40 years old.  And yes, it's a bit worse for the wear.  It has a vertical crease, and some spotting.  But I have it.  I would have bet you money I didn't still have this photo.  In fact, I had even thought about doing an internet search for an old Bennett High School yearbook, just so I'd have a photo.  Meanwhile this was in an album in an old trunk up in my studio.

If you're not familiar with my story about Lenny Horowitz, you probably don't know why this is so important to me.  So by all means, READ THE STORY.  I dedicated Diary of a Witness to Lenny.  And I'm still looking for his son Brian, and/or his wife Linda, so I can give them a copy of Diary and of this little essay.  So if you know them, tell them I've been looking everywhere.  Okay?

Life is full of unexpected moments.