ST. MARYS — To wrap up Right to Read Week, students at St. Marys Intermediate School received a visit from a Columbus-area author.
Nancy Roe Pimm lives in Dublin now, but she grew up in New York City. She noted when she was young, she dreamed of becoming a cowgirl — something not realistic in New York City. When her sister got married, she lived on a horse farm and invited Roe Pimm to live with her in the summer.
“It was the most awesome thing for a 10-year-old girl to have her dream come true so young that she could live on a horse farm and be a cowgirl,” Roe Pimm said.
She ended up marrying a cowboy of her own, and she noted after they got married she learned about her husband’s dream.
“Once we got married, he said to me, ‘I want to be a race car driver,’” Roe Pimm said. “I had no idea he had wanted to be a race car driver.”
That was his dream, she stressed.
“I think it’s really important for all of us to have dreams,” she said.
Her husband’s dream, Roe Pimm said, was to be an Indy 500 driver.
“He was a farmer who had tractors, and everyone laughed at his face and said that’s ridiculous, it’s like the best race in the world, the best drivers. You’re never going to be in the Indy 500,” she said. “But instead of listening to those people who said he could never do it, he totally ignored them and he went out and he kept buying cars that had crashed and he fixed them up and sold them. He kept doing that over and over again until he had enough money to go out and buy a race car.”
Roe Pimm noted a race that her husband was in early on that had some of the best drivers in it, and he was in third place. Then, her husband’s car went airborne and crashed into pieces. The shattered car was dropped off at their garage — what was left of his dream.
One day, a man came by the house and asked if Roe Pimm’s husband raced that car, to which he said he was, and the man said if he could race that car, which wasn’t a very good car and get third, what could he get with a top-of-the-line car. The man asked them to move to Ohio from New York, and the man would put him on a team.
They picked up their kids and moved to Ohio, and Roe Pimm’s husband went on to be in the Indy 500 five times.
“His dream came true,” she said. “All those people who laughed at him. He had persistence, he saved his money, he worked hard, he never ever did not believe himself and he really wanted this dream, so he made sure it came true and he followed it until the end.”
Roe Pimm noted when she was a kid she also had a dream — she wanted to be an author. Roe Pimm shared the first book she wrote, “Horses, Horses, Horses,” with the students at St. Marys Intermediate School.
When I was 18 years old, I wanted to go to college for journalism or writing, I was told it was a dream that probably wouldn’t come true, I’d need to do something more realistic and I needed a real job,” Roe Pimm said. “So, instead of following my dreams like my husband did, I agreed ... Instead of believing in myself and following my dreams, I went to college and became a dental hygienist.”
For years, Roe Pimm said she forgot about her dream until one day it hit her and she asked herself why she settled for something she hadn’t wanted to do. So, when her youngest child was 2 years old, she started writing a book.
But once she finished, Roe Pimm’s book was rejected numerous times. She was upset, but she said she wasn’t going to let her dream die again, and Roe Pimm started taking writing courses and attending conferences, anything to better her writing.
Instead of writing another book, Roe Pimm started writing magazine articles — her first one that was published was about sharks. Since then, Roe Pimm has written articles about gorillas and elephants and then eventually she did get books published — she has written books on the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and about gorillas.
Roe Pimm told the students the one thing she wanted the students to remember from her visit is to believe in their dreams.
“I want you guys to believe in your dreams, and for the rest of your life if someone laughs in your face or tells you you can’t do it, please don’t take that advice because you can do it,” she said.
“Reach for the stars, anything is possible. It does take hard work, it’s not just going to fall in your lap, it takes perseverance, it takes never giving up. But if you have a dream burning in your heart, keep fighting for it.”