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A Letter, 25 Years Later

Being able to thank a teacher 25 years later made my Mother’s Day!

Dear Mary (Loporcaro):

After so many years at St. John Fisher with literally thousands of students under your tutelage, I doubt you remember me, but I owe my career in journalism to you.

Our work in creating Rochester People Magazine in 1987 inspired me to go into print journalism, not broadcast, which is where I was headed. I will always remember that you said I had an “ear for idioms” and encouraged me to write in that authentic voice.

As my greatest mentor in life, I wanted you to know that I think about you often and wanted to thank you for dedicating yourself beyond your job duties to let me run with the idea of making that magazine.

I went onto become a crime reporter at the NY Daily News where I learned how to write tight and on deadline. No fluff. Just the facts. It was good training, for sure, but my heart was always in features. I went on to enjoy a 12 year career as the content editor for Woman’s World Magazine followed by a seven year hiatus as a press secretary for The City of Yonkers. During all of this time, I took jobs as a private investigator for Schembri & Associates. I’ve been back at Woman’s World for the past three years in the same capacity and loving every minute of my job. The magazine is my heart and my home.

My husband Mark Pittman was a BIG DEAL financial reporter at Bloomberg who predicted the collapse of the banking system and literally sued the Federal Reserve to make it accountable to the American public.

We had two daughters together and he had a daughter from his first marriage, Maggie. We filled our house with love amid the financial and parenting struggles that couples have. Then blamo! He literally dropped dead on the girls and me one night. Heart attack.

And I was left holding him in a box of ashes.

The only way out of my grief was to write the way you taught me to write. From my heart.

“Here is the result,” I wrote. (And then I hit her with this, the photo of my book.)

Then I got to tell her it’s published by Hatherleigh Press/Penguin Random House

AND that it’s ranked #17 on Amazon’s “Hot New Picks” list!!!

She wrote right back. I haven’t responded yet, because I’m in a bit of a teary mess right now.

What a wonder you still are! I know your whole history because I’ve looked you up many times over the years. I was so saddened to hear of your loss. Why do things like that happen to the most loving couples? You handle things so well with your beautiful girls.
You are still the best natural writer I’ve ever had in a class.
I’ve wanted to contact you often but felt I shouldn’t intrude. I’m excited about your new book. It will be a fun and interesting read.
I have mentioned you often in my writing classes when explaining how important it is to listen to your inner voice when writing so your own personality comes through honestly.
I’ll be in touch again I’m sure.
So so happy to hear from you. You’re the one who made this all happen. Mary

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