Interview with Glenda Martin

January 12, 2012
By Avery10 BRONZE, Arlington Heights, Illinois
Avery10 BRONZE, Arlington Heights, Illinois
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“I have dedicated my life to books. When I was little, my Mother was always trying to get me to go outside and play kickball with the other kids in our neighborhood, but instead I would hide on my roof and read all afternoon long.”
“I grew up in Idaho in the middle of nowhere. I grew up in the middle of World War Two and it was hard, to say the least. My mother was always telling my sister and I that we needed to, ‘ignore the bad and only focus on the good.’ I remember that we never had any sugar in the house because it always went to the war. We had oatmeal every morning for breakfast with no sugar or milk. One time, my aunt sent us a box of chocolate bars that she had purchased. My mom hid them so that we wouldn’t eat them all in one sitting, but then she made the mistake of going to the grocery store. I searched high and low for that box, and I finally fount it. The chocolate tasted so good – heavenly. Bite after bite, I barely chewed as I let the creamy chocolate run down my throat like a waterfall. I didn’t even bother to sit at the table. I just plopped down in the middle of the kitchen and ate every last chocolate bar.”
“We were never poor, but it was hard growing up during wartime. The reason that I was able to get through it was because of my books. At age 10, I was reading young adult books including “The Odyssey.” I grew up with books by my side almost constantly. I love the way that they can take you to a whole different place and time.”
“I went to college at the University of Minnesota and majored in special Ed with an emphasis on the blind. There, I met my husband, Richard Martin. We graduated together and he became a professor at the University. I kept moving forward with my work with the blind and soon became nationally and internationally known for my work. I traveled around the world educating others and helping whoever I could. All through college and my young adult life, I kept right on reading every book I could. I especially like books by women authors because I believe in women speaking their minds and being independent.”
“My life continued forward with books in tow, and I had children. A daughter named Corinne Martin, a son named Doug Martin, and another adopted son named Jeff Martin. My life was going along well, and I was the happiest I had ever been. But as life goes, it will not always be perfect. My husband was diagnosed with diabetes and was told he would be dead by age 40, which was about 4 years away. I remember the moment the doctor told us. He said, ‘I’m so sorry, but there’s nothing we can do. If you need anything, please let us know.’ I looked at Richard’s face and dropped into a nearby chair. My body felt limp. I felt the tears slowly start falling down my face. I knew my life would forever be changed. But I was ready for it. My kids were still young. They needed their father.”
“Every time we went into the doctor they would tell us that Richard only had a few years left. Every time they were wrong, because he lived to age 70. I haven’t believed a doctor since.”
“But the greatest struggle of my life was when my adopted son, Jeff, was diagnosed with depression and killed himself. I can never explain the pain of losing a child, and it is something that I will never be able to share with anyone else. The reason I got through losing my son and my husband’s demanding illness was, once again, because of my books.”
“My two kids married, and my daughter became Mrs. White along with an English teacher. My son also married and became a guidance counselor at a high school so that he could help kids who were hurting as much as his brother was. Both my kids are huge inspirations to me and I am so proud of them. After my kids moved out, I moved to Arizona. Here, my bounty of books began to grow. I wanted to get more women to experience the world through books. I became the leader of many book groups for women, which I travel around the country to attend.”
“At age 50 I opened the Minnesota Women’s Press with my friend Molly. It is a magazine that contains women’s writing. Some women who contribute stories are already famous authors; some women are everyday women who share our passion for words. Anyone is welcome to be a part of it, and anyone is welcome to attend the book clubs. My life goal was to bring women and words together. To promote independence and the importance of books. We travel around the world to meet authors and to run the Women’s Press. These days, I have four grandchildren. Cori and Toms kids, Avery and Campbell, and Doug and Julie’s kids, Kate and Ryan. My official home is still in Arizona, but I travel around all the time to keep the book groups going, and spend my summers in Minnesota with Molly. I’ve dedicated my life to books, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!