After reading that, I decided that I needed to talk to Wiley. So I called him immediately. He was friendly, humble, and funny. He came to Gaston Day as a junior and credits two of our English teachers, Cynthia Furr and Rob Hannah, with initiating his quest to be a writer. According to Wiley, those were the first two adults ever to take him seriously as an intellectual. Now he wants to reconnect with Gaston Day and interact with current Gaston Day student writers. The School is exploring ways to make that happen.
The whole episode has made me proud at three levels. First, I am so proud to discover that Gaston Day has a tradition of writing excellence that reaches back to Wiley's years--one that produced a great new southern writer. Second, I am so proud that we have such a fantastic writing program currently--one that draws a writer like Wiley Cash back to Gaston Day and motivates him to interact with our talented student writers. Finally, I am really proud that The Gaslight is effectively communicating our success and accomplishments to a wider audience of alums and friends.
Stay tuned as the relationship with Wiley Cash grows. Hopefully, he will come to campus in the near future and share his gifts with a new generation of Gaston Day writers--young writers who may someday find the same success as Wiley Cash. Wiley did it, and so can they.