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Real Life Luthers

Real Life Luthers

The Missouri Luther

A man called Luther was a friend and helpmate of my grandparents in a little town in southwest Missouri. I met him while visiting them as a very young child. I’m not sure how I actually remember Luther, but he made a big impression on me. He was kind and talked to me like a friend. Luther took time out of his adult day to show me around the greenhouse he kept for my grandmother.

Later, when I was older, but still a child, he was gone. I was living on the property then but my siblings were elsewhere. I spent a lot of time alone. I was convinced then and now I saw and felt Luther there.

This gentle man whose full name I never knew made such an impression that I have never forgotten him. I believe he has heard and felt my gratitude over the years.

Rev. Carl E. Andersen, Burro Guru

The Real Luthers

Luther Andersen, a primary character in my novel, is an amalgamation of every good mentor I’ve ever had, both women and men. Some have passed while most are still alive. Luther’s looks and last name come from the late Reverend Carl E. Andersen, who also went briefly as The Burro Guru. Carl was a WW II veteran Army officer and a real mystic. Like so very many others, I loved him dearly. I didn’t know him when he was young, though I did see a few photos. He was a tall, slender, gentle Dane with beautiful blue eyes, a thick head of hair, and amazing insight he’d honed over his long, adventurous life.

I have been graced to cross paths with many wise souls―family members, teachers, ministers, friends. These Luthers shared their wisdom with me in ways that stuck. Their gentle kindness and intelligent humor opened my mind, heart, ears, and eyes. Some literally saved my you-know-what (butt)! I am so crazy grateful that I’d love to post the long list of their names here, but I choose to respect their privacy. Still, thank you.  (You know who you are.)

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New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel [working title], brightens the sometimes dark world of YA and delivers the angst and the weird in this inspiring becoming-who-you-are adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.

Georgie and Josefina ask, "What Would Luther Say?"

Georgie and Josefina ask, “What Would Luther Say?”

When baffled by a new subject or problem, Georgie and Josefina respond with, “Let’s ask Luther,” or “What would Luther say?” Whether unexpected or truth the girls hadn’t yet faced, Luther’s guidance and instruction are kind, wise and likely seeded with humor.

Like the time something happened before P.E. class and Georgie reacted—really, really reacted. At least that’s how it seemed to her.

Luther had said, “You are experiencing a perfectly normal reaction,” and handed her cold lemon water. “Who would not be shocked?”

“Exactly.” She uncurled an arm out of the tight ball she had wound herself into and accepted the glass.

He pretended not to see her dab at the corner of one eye with the back of her wrist as he took the facing chair. He patted her shoulder as he passed. “But you’re not normal, Georgie.”

“Excuse me?”

Meanwhile, the more the girls learn from Luther the more they want to know. Their minds are always whirring like spinning tops and sometimes hit a wall before they can figure out a thing on their own. This author suspects Josefina keeps a running list of questions in her phone.

New fiction author, Tanya D. Dawson, has written a story for the young adult in all of us. Her pending novel, Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel, brightens the sometimes dark world of YA to deliver the angst and the weird in this inspiring adventure of mystery, intrigue, and mysticism grounded in today’s world. While Andersen Light: A Mystic Creek Novel is primarily set on the West Coast, Tanya lives and works in the American Southwest.