Sunday, June 8, 2008

My friend, Chris

Pin It I want to tell you about my friend.

I have a friend, Chris Heimerdinger. I first met Chris nearly 11 years ago, back when I was just driving through Utah to visit friends of mine in Missouri. I had called him up after reading A Return to Christmas and being moved by the story. When Chris heard that I’d be coming through Utah, he was more than happy to let me come by to visit. He even gave me directions to his home.

I remember driving there with my friend, Doug. We saw this guy jogging along the way. It was a hot summer day; I remember turning to my friend and saying, “Maybe we should offer that guy a ride. After all I would only run if I were being chased.”

Doug responded with, “Hey mister…who's chasing you?”


The windows were up, thankfully, and he didn’t hear the comment. As I pulled into the cul-de-sac the man ran up the house we’d just come to. It was Chris.

Even though he was sweating profusely, and was winded from his long run, Chris invited us inside and talked to us for nearly an hour. I couldn’t believe the graciousness of this man.

Since that time I’ve seen Chris about once a year. These ranged from book signings, visits to his home so he’d autograph stories for me. There was even a visit where I dropped off a “movie trailer” I had made for his book, Eddie Fantastic, to promote reading and quality literature responses in my class.

Two years ago I invited Chris to come to my school and have an assembly, which he genially agreed to. After the assembly, he met with just my class for a question-and-answer session. My students loved meeting the author of A Return to Christmas and Eddie Fantastic. They still talk about it.

A few years ago I took the three boys I mentored up to meet Chris, and to have him autograph a book of their choice. Randall, not realizing that they had a dog, cut across the front lawn. Unbeknownst to him, he’d tread in some choice “items” the dog had left behind on the grass, and tracked it over the Heimerdingers’s front room carpet.

Even with this, Chris still talks to me.

Throughout the years Chris has been a great friend and a confidant. Though I only talk to him a few times a year, he has always been courteous and understanding…even with the many constraints on his limited amounts of time.

This is just another reason I admire this man so much.

Today I watched his movie, Passage to Zarahemla and felt that I needed to call him. I just needed some advice, and hadn’t talked to him for a while. It was great! We ended up talking about just about everything over the ensuing 40 minutes (though Shawna will probably be upset at me from taking him away from the writing on his next Tennis Shoes book).

I admire Chris even more now than I did before. He is an example to me of a person who tries his best and lets the consequence follow.

Thanks, Chris.


Julie said...

I was just going to start reading "A return to Christmas." It is nice to have such good friends. I saw the preview for that movie a few days ago and thought how I still needed to see it. I'll have to do that.

Kris said...

That is totally awesome! Where does he live????

Anonymous said...

I have a few good friends. I miss having them so close. I feel miles away now...Oh yeah...I am miles away now!
I like what you wrote about him. It was neat to read about.

Chris Heimerdinger said...

Muchos Gracias. Yes, I remember the unmentionalbe dog bi-products on my carpet. Nothing some elbow grease and a wet rag couldn't handle. :) This is a very nice and thoughtful portrayal. I wish I could say I was as kind or good or gracious as this blogger makes me out to be. It is extremely heart-warming to know that I have such devoted and wonderful fans.

Chris H.

Gerb said...

I hope I have friends who would write such nice things about me - at least in their minds, maybe even in their hearts.

My kids have speculated on how you know one of their favorite authors - the number one idea was that you met in a class in college. Now we know the truth!

Teachinfourth said...

Jewels - I LOVE that book. It's one of my top 5 favorites!

Kris - Up near Salt Lake...wait, are you going to stalk him?

KJ - IT was good to see you today. I realize just how much I was missing you all.

Chris - I didn't realize you'd find this blog...curses, now you know what we said the first time I met you.

And as for what I said, I stand by it.

Gerb - More than you realize. As for the 'secret'... I guess it had to get out sometime. I just wonder why your kids just didn't ask me, after all, three of them have been in my class over the years. Hmmm...maybe your family needs to work on some communication skills there.

Anonymous said...

Dear blogger,
Thank you for your positive review of Passage to Zarahemla. You have been wonderful! I just wanted to let you know that there is a Passage to Zarahemla widget, and we would love for you to host it on your blog if you are interested. The widget contains the trailer, the making of the movie (great behind the scenes info), a link to the blog, a little about the movie, music that is downloadable, and a buy now option. A widget is a portable web application that you can very easily install on your blog. Do you think you would be interested in having this widget on your blog? Let me know and I will send you the link so that you can easily embed it. Thanks again for your review and hope to hear from you soon. (Please email me your response)

Alayna Ferrin
Public Relations
Cobalt Communications Group



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