In the fall of 2011, Tessie graciously welcomed me into her home and over the course of several evenings she shared her memories of being a member of the Omaha DePorres Club as a young black woman in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her memory was sharp and her stories were blunt and honest, as well as funny and poignant. I loved listening to her.
That winter I sent Tessie some early drafts of my book to get her feedback. Some time went by and then one Saturday morning the phone rang. It was Tessie. She was calling to let me know that she was watching an author interview on CSPAN's Book TV program and she wanted let me know that someday I would be on the program as a featured author. Not knowing what to say, I thanked her and we visited for several minutes before hanging up. Tessie died that May.
This May I received an email from Tiffany Rocque of CSPAN. A CSPAN team was going to be in Omaha for their Cities Tour program and she wanted to interview me about my book. My interview will air on CSPAN Book TV segments over the weekend of July 4th and 5th. Tessie gets full credit.