Gretchen McMasters

When Gretchen McMasters was growing up, she spent a lot of time outside.

“My dad loved to be outdoors,” said Gretchen. “He taught me to swim, fish, water ski, ride motorcycles, hang glide and do other things that girls just didn’t do back then.

In elementary school, Gretchen struggled to read. Her mother took her to the public library. There, she discovered the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. A huge horse lover, Gretchen devoured all of Farley’s books. Suddenly, she was reading everything in sight. By the time she reached the sixth grade, she was a good reader.

Words were a big thing around Gretchen’s house. Her father had a voracious appetite for knowledge.

“If Dad heard a word that he didn’t know, he would trot to the bookcase and pull the dictionary off the shelf. I remember watching his long fingers turn the pages as he searched for the word. Then with eyes gleaming, he would read the definition out loud.”

When Gretchen was in the sixth grade, her teacher, Mrs. Mabry, put a sign over the blackboard that quoted Eleanor Roosevelt.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Gretchen looked at the sign every morning. The words stuck.

“I still remember that sign. I never forgot the words, and I still work to apply them.”

Gretchen became Aesock’s mother when he dropped in from Static Island for a visit…and stayed! The little fellow explained who he was, and then returned several dozen pairs of odd socks that had gone missing over the years. Once his mission was accomplished, he found a comfortable spot in Gretchen’s office where he now sits except when he’s helping Gretchen write.

“Aesock does all the writing. I just type,” said Gretchen. “He’s really committed to helping kids and adults learn that all things ARE possible to those who believe.”