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The Madera Tribune

Saroyan memorialized Madera High

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webmaster | 08/17/12

William Saroyan was apparently not the easiest person in the world with which one could deal. As talented and as well known as he was, he didn’t suffer a fool lightly, and he didn’t seem to need anyone’s approval. In fact, this internationally acclaimed writer refused the Pulitzer Prize for his play, “The Time of Your Life.”

He almost never went to a college or university to speak because, as he said, “I can’t be bothered; it’s too much trouble and just a little silly.” However, on Jan. 26, 1977, he came to Madera High School to speak. Let me tell you how that came about.

It just so happened that Brenda (Najimian) Magarity was teaching English and drama at Madera High, and it also just so happened that her family knew Saroyan. In fact, Brenda became his unofficial driver — not a chauffeur, but a friend, a driver.

At some point in the 1976-77 school year, Brenda decided that she wanted Saroyan to come to her class, so she asked him, and can you believe it? He said yes...


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