After we shared the sad news of the passing of Norman Bridwell, we were inundated with thousands of comments, stories and heartfelt notes from fans of the author. It seems everyone remembers their first encounter with the Big Red Dog, and one fan in particular recalls a chance encounter with the author himself. We absolutely love this story sent to us by Tammy Green, and we thank her for sharing it with us!
I would like to share a wonderful Norman Bridwell story.
16 years ago, while bicycling in Edgartown, my 4 year old daughter Jo and I happened upon a Norman Bridwell book signing. We waited in line for a photo and signed book. Before leaving the bookstore, I gifted her with a small red Clifford plush toy. Clifford traveled with us EVERYWHERE for the next two years. (Clifford had a luggage tag!) Of course, one fateful day, the well worn and well loved Clifford did not return from a sleepover. Quickly I created a story that Clifford felt the need to visit with Mr. Bridwell back in Massachusettes.
Together my daughter and I wrote a letter to Mr. Bridwell checking on Clifford’s well-being.
Several days later, my daughter received a handwritten letter from Clifford and Norman Bridwell.
So sorry that you have been worried. I have arrived safely to Edgartown and will be spending some time vacationing with my very good friend Emily Elizabeth. Next time you come to Martha’s Vineyard perhaps you will meet her. I will be home soon.
The letter was signed with a red paw print.
A doppleganger replaced the original Clifford. The original letter, however, is cherished and saved in the box of childhood memorabilia.
Forever a fan,