While my book(s) are in the wings, waiting to be published, it seems a shame to delay that wonderful name dropping business of thanking every influential person in your life and telling them how grateful you are. So, here instead, because I can't wait, and don't want to, is the preface to the book of my life.
First of all, thanks to my mother and father, Wes and Frana Hamilton, whose knowledge and embodiment of the truth of the Bible shaped everything I am. Thanks to my first brother David Hamilton, now Dr. Hamilton, whose thirst for knowledge and fun eclipsed all my curiosity and took it to a new level. Thanks to my sister, Ali Martinez who continues to generously give to me out of her heart, and to my next brother, Daniel Hamilton whose life is a living testimony to me of devotion to God and others, the second a validation of the first.
To my first crush, Bobby Hanson, with whom I was planning on raising a cat farm, and who inspired me to dress up as catwoman, thereby sealing my love of drama, costuming AND cats, forever.
To my first boyfriend Tony Leow, a great friend to this very day, who modelled generosity and hard work.
My best friend from the 6th grade, Debbie Brownfield, who shared my love of music and literature at 12 and still does.
To my first drama teacher, Mrs. Chmelka, who made herself cry on the floor during a monologue. I'll never be the same!
To Dr. Dan Anderson, my college president, whose humble prayer, "Lord, we are not adequate for the task." brings tears to my eyes even as I write it.
To Dorothy Gilmore, now passed on, who gave me the gift of travel, while I was in college, to the middle east, opening my eyes to a whole new world.
To my faithful husband, Jim Maris, who is the wind beneath my flighty wings. He enables me to reach heights I could not achieve on my own.
Lana, who never ceases to amaze me with her unsinkable creative energy and cheerfulness.
Emma, whose gift for writing and determination astound me.
Clara, the always dependable worker whose talent shines from deep within.
Janna, who adds sparkle and pizzazz to everything and everyone she is around.
Being these girls' mom is the single most important delight of my life.
And now for the random assortment of people I am proud and blessed to have known. They have contributed to me as a person and an artist.
To Jane Austen who makes me want to have lived next door to her, and rubbed shoulders at a country dance.
To Charlotte Bronte, whose 'Jane Eyre' has haunted my very soul ever since I read it.
To CS Lewis, whose literary works are a constant reminder that intelligent people can and do believe fervently in a loving and Holy God.
To The people at Hickman Charter School, most notably David Meyer, whose untiring educational support allowed me and my children to have priceless memories during the formative years of their lives.
To Artistic maverick Roem Baur, who opened skylights into my mind where there were lead ceilings.
To Grace Leiberman, whose dedication and love of the arts must be unparalled in Modesto.
To Paul Tischer, whose attention to detail and love of the theater brought me into a world of experiences I would never trade.
To the neighbors on my street who have made living at Willow Oak Ct a friendly, cozy and safe place.
Many others could be on this list, but I fear that though I would not tire of expressing thanks, the reader will tire.Thanks to you, my reader!