Several years ago when I was student teaching, Wallace came to visit my school. I had the pleasure of meeting he and his wife during the luncheon. I can honestly say that he was just as funny and kind in real life as his books portrayed him to be.
After the visit, my class closed out our letter-writing unit by sending letters to Bill Wallace. We were so thrilled when we received a response back. It wasn't just a form letter, like you would receive from most celebrities. He had taken the time to personally respond to several of the students' questions.
My favorite part, though, was the fact that he had written a letter personally to me. He was so encouraging and heartfelt. One of his biggest pieces of advice to me was that if I wanted to write, just write. He had received a drawer full of rejection letters before anyone took a chance on him. I'll never forget his kindness, his humor, or the wise words he took the time to deliver specifically to me.
Rest in peace, Mr. Wallace.