May 4
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

Spring is so many things.
Soft whispered sounds of morning rain
                 disturbing sleep.
The nonsense talk of baby chicks.
The windmill asking to be free.

From Morning Chores and Other Times Remembered by Hadley Read

I remember that book on my parents’ bookcase growing up. I likely read a few pages from it over the years and have a weak recollection of using it for a homework assignment on poetry at one time. However, as I visited with Mary Read Beth last fall about her father Hadley and his love of writing in free verse, I quickly recalled seeing that title amongst the shelves in my parents’ home.

It was in that visit with Mary and in phone calls and e-mails with her brother Greg Read that I learned more about Hadley Read’s love of communicating with others. And although Greg and Mary admit that while growing up they may not have appreciated their father’s ability to communicate with just about anyone, they now reflect fondly on his abilities in both written and spoken communications.

Now, 30 years after his death, Hadley Read’s third book is in print and a fourth is nearing completion. It was my pleasure to share Mary and Greg’s journey of publishing The Awakening of a Country Boy in the most recent edition of ACES@Illinois. I am both enamored by Hadley Read’s talents in free verse and his children’s appreciation for their parents and their roots. I am equally appreciative of his development of the agricultural communications program at the University of Illinois, and the many things it contributed to who I am today!

Hadley Read's children Greg Read and Mary Read Beth