Dennis Ambrose meets Red and Rocky. Lovefest.
For more than 20 years, ever since I wrote "Running To The Mountain," Dennis Ambrose, the head of the copy editing department at Random House has supervised the editing of my books. He was always a voice on the phone, then another voice lost to e-mail. Dennis was always patient, gracious, responsive, meticulous. But I never met him, never knew what he looked like or really, was like. The relationship between a copy editor and a writer is intimate. Dennis knows everything about my life, including the many errors, details, confusions that never made it into print.
Two weeks ago, when I was at Random House, my editor Jen Smith thoughtfully went to the trouble to introduce us. I hugged him like a brother, and wished I had a brother I was as close to. Dennis said he was coming up this way on vacation and would like to stop at the farm and talk and meet Maria and the animals. We had the most wonderful visit with Dennis and his wife Marlene, a psychologist in Manhattan. Dennis is true animal lover, and he melted around Simon, but he especially connected with Red. You see it sometimes, animals like Red just connect with some people. Red loves as hard as he works.
When I brought Dennis over to see the New Bedlam Farm, he connected with Rocky too. Dennis connects to animals the same way Maria does – he kneels down and waits for them to sniff him and come to him. And they do. Red joined in and I was fortunate to catch the moment. I feel as if I made a new friend today, as a name became a face, and the face was intelligent, warm, empathetic. We are going to get together in New York. A special day for me.