Maura Poston Zagrans

I spent my formative years in Elyria, Ohio, one of eight children. My mother was an Irish immigrant whose parents settled in New York; my father a multi-talented man who grew up on a tobacco farm in Kentucky. For the Poston children, there was dinner on the table every night, church every Sunday, and encouragement to take advantage of a wealth of opportunities available in school: sports, drama, band, choir, and service clubs. One childhood memory stands out from a montage of happy remembrances: reading. I would walk to the Elyria Public Library, browse in the subterranean children’s section, and borrow ten books–the limit–each visit. Back home, I treasured time free from homework, practicing the piano, and chores because I could immerse myself in my library books. At night, I read by the light of the streetlamp outside my bedroom window. In the summer, I packed lunch in a brown paper bag, grabbed my book, and climbed a high tree, where I would perch on a thick branch and read for hours. From the zillions of books I read, I learned the art of imagining and picked up a feel for the rhythm in writing. Most important of all, I fell in love with the process of learning. Books, music, writing, and photography have been my creative outlets all throughout my life, as much a part of me as my name and the color of my eyes. These are the basic elements upon which I relied in creating a sense of home for my family.