judge-neil-daughter.jpgOlly Neal grew up in Arkansas during the 1950s. He didn’t care much for high school. One day during his senior year, he cut class — and wandered into the school library.

He stumbled onto a book written by African-American author Frank Yerby. And the discovery changed the life of a teenage boy who was, in Neal’s memory, “a rather troubled high school senior,” who only wanted to be known for fighting and cussing.

He stole the book in order to preserve his reputation as a tough, but the librarian, who saw the whole thing, set about to find other books by the same author to place on the shelf as bait to lure Neal into “stealing” another.

Years later, the librarian revealed her story to Olly Neal, who had gone on to Law school and become a Judge.

(Read or listen to the StoryCorp tale at NPR)



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