- Priscilla has traveled to meet readers who discovered her story in bookstores, libraries and schools. One man wrote of his own connection to the book:
When I mentioned your book to my father, he was well aware of the story of Priscilla and the legendary connection to red hollyhocks in the area. I had heard the Priscilla story before as a child, but did not remember this until a friend mentioned your book, which I purchased for myself and my parents.
My great grandfather and his siblings were orphaned and taken in by families in the area. Some were treated as farm laborers, but my great-grandfather’s brother was taken in by the Silkwoods and treated kindly, according to my father. I'm not clear on the dates. I believe he would have been decades younger than Priscilla. But if it's true that she lived in and then near the house until her death and helped care for the younger children adopted by the Silkwoods, then it must follow that they knew each other.
- Priscilla has traveled to people who heard me speak about the book or visited my web site or blog. I’ve received cards and letters from numerous readers who have been inspired by Priscilla’s courage and resilience. One child recognized me at an unrelated community event and said, “I’m so glad I learned about Priscilla!”
A United Methodist Church in La Jolla, California planted a hollyhock garden in Priscilla’s honor. A member there wrote, “When our flowers are in bloom next spring, we will once again think about you and of course about Priscilla.”
- Priscilla has traveled to viewers who heard of her story on cable television. I’ve been interviewed for TV stations in the Merrimack Valley, Belmont, Wellesley, and Cape Cod. Who knows how often those shows are broadcast, or who connects to Priscilla because they hear me tell her story in that format? Here’s an excerpt from an email I received recently:
Keep writing and sharing and dreaming and hoping. And know that people in the most unlikely places are listening and thankful for your voice.
- Priscilla has traveled to people who were guests on a popular Hollywood talk show on which a good friend of mine was a producer. She gave copies of the book to Jimmy Carter, Henry Louis Gates, Anne Lamott, Angela Bassett, Lawrence Fishburne, among others. I also sent copies of the book to the Obama family (nine months before the presidential election) and to Massachusetts Governor Patrick’s family. (He sent a lovely hand-written thank you.)
- Priscilla has traveled to Basil and Mariah Silkwood’s descendents, as evidenced in this email I received:
As an author, it was a privilege to learn and write about strong, brave Priscilla who, like Miss Rumphius or Johnny Appleseed, carried seeds of beauty wherever she went. The more I have presented about this book, the more deeply I have come to appreciate the courage of both the African-American slave child who never gave up hope and the white businessman who flouted societal conventions to make her part of his family. What a great opportunity to remember the strength of the human spirit. Who knows where Priscilla and I will travel together in the future?
Posted by Anne Broyles, author of Priscilla and the Hollyhocks.
Visit Anne online at www.annebroyles.com
Keep up with Anne at http://annebroyles.livejournal.com