Leading the Bison Charge!

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Esther of the Holy Bible was a queen and a heroine. She famously saved her people (the Jews) from annihilation. The only thing stranger than the plot twists in this story is the fact that it's ACTUALLY TRUE!!! Esther Drake, on the other hand, is not a monarch and I don't know if she's ever saved anyone's life. While that is not exactly a glowing endorsement (and anticlimactic), I am PROUD to say she's my FRIEND!!!

Just over 3 years ago, I asked Esther Drake to show me to Gallaudet University's library so I could study Deaf Culture. She and her son Jeremiah (future Gallaudet football and basketball star) escorted me first to the exhibit in the Edward Miner Gallaudet building, then to the Merrill Learning Center (campus library). Since then, I've spent hundreds of hours in the building named after Gallaudet's fourth president reading dozens of books about Deaf History, written my Buff and Blue (BnB) articles there, and composed this post in my favorite spot there. It's the very building in which Esther and I had a fateful conversation.

At the end of the Fall 2014, I was doing some research for a BnB article (that never materialized, but I hope to revive at some point) and saw Esther. I told her about what I was working on. She asked me if I wanted to write a book. I replied that I didn't want to, not because I don't think I'm capable of doing so, but I don't think that's the best outlet for my writing talent.

Fast forward several weeks, maybe about a month, to Friday, December 19th. I was talking with an acquaintance about how I needed to use my writing skills to enter some scholarship contests. I showed him my very first BnB article, "Gallaudet's Finest". He was impressed. He said he had some papers he wanted me to look at and maybe come up with something. His dad was a World War II veteran who died a few years back, but had left behind some records.  I excitedly replied, "You want me to write something up for you?!?" At this point I just thought he wanted me to write something for his personal records or his family's records. He said, "Yeah, and whatever happens, I just want 5%." I said, "You want me to write a book?!?" I couldn't believe it!!! Just a few weeks earlier, Esther had asked me if I wanted to write a book. She had gone from being a friend to also being a prophet! Naturally, she was one of the first people I told.

Now, this is an AMAZING opportunity!! I've met my acquaintance's mother and been to their house where I looked over some of their records. I'm not sure, however, if I will write the book. Why? Because it would be a very time consuming process and would no doubt consume time I could otherwise be spending with the Deaf Community. Whether I write the book or not, I will ALWAYS be most proud of my writing to, for, and about the Deaf Community whether it's my BnB articles, this blog, or future endeavors, because THAT is where my heart is!!!

So, Esther Drake will probably not have a book of the Bible named after her. (I think that's pretty much done.) She probably won't be a queen and may never save a life (if she already hasn't). But for the last 5 years, she has been MY FRIEND, which was more than enough!! Now, she's also a PROPHET! So as a belated birthday gift, THANK YOU ESTHER!!!

*I am dedicating this post to Esther Drake and EVERYONE who has encouraged me through both my signing and writing. Although Esther is the subject of this article, I am grateful to the dozens of people who have supported me over the last 6 years!!!