I wrote Apples for the Wild Stallion after Joey’s mother, Sonja Bingen, while starting to read the first book in the Harry Potter series while we were visiting one day, looked at me and said, wistfully, I’ve been trying to find books that has a character Joey can relate to, but I’ve only been able to find one. After getting home to Sturgeon Bay, I sat down and started writing this novel. After all, Joey loves horses, and here he is with the novel.
Sonja tells me that she is going to start reading it with him after she finished teaching in early June. She ordered the book from amazon, though, not willing to wait for the copies I’ve got coming in from All Things That Matter Press, and here is the photo she sent of Joey with his copy of the book written for him.
Our grandson, Joey Bingen, has severe autism. He is fourteen years old and cannot communicate with words. He does have a couple of sign language signs and uses them when he wants something, but has basically not been able to communicate with his parents, brother, or anyone else. Then . . .
working with the therapist he wrote this message on his iPad, which, in the past, he has only used to play games. He has followed these words up with additional communications, the beginnings of written conversation. Fourteen years of silence and then words!
Where will this sudden ability to communicate lead? What will it mean in Joey’s life? His parent’s life? His grandparent’s life? Ethel and I believe in miracles at the moment. We believe in miracles.
Joey is our grandson. He is autistic, but he is excited about horses. His mother has been taking him to ride them since he was very young, and visiting horses is one of many joys in his life. Ethel and I love him deeply.
Note: One of Joe’s favorite times of the year is a fireworks display held in May in Burlington, Wisconsin. His severe autism seems to disappear as his eyes grow round and he smiles at explosions of light in the sky. His brother Will likes the fireworks just as much.
The Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin is a magnificent work of art. Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. A moveable sunscreen, with a 217-foot wingspan, unfolds and folds twice daily, soaring above Lake Michigan in the afternoon sun like a huge sail ready to take off on a journey without end. Ethel Mortenson Davis is walking with Joey, our autistic grandchild, while William, the artist, is by the window in this room dappled with sun and shadow, looking out at shining lake waters.