Logan writer to be featured
on 'All Things Considered'
By Marie MacKay
March 3, 2006 | Everyone has a story to tell and at
15 years old, Cecile Gilmer thought hers wasn't going
to have a happy ending.
After losing her mother from a self-inflicted gunshot
when Gilmer was 7 years old, she eventually found herself
living in a motel room off Interstate 10 in Houston
with her father.
She was heading down a road that would lead to bitterness
and cynicism. Then the Beach family came along and changed
her life forever.
Today this 44-year-old Logan resident is telling her
story to the nation, giving hope to those in similar
As part of National Public Radio's This I Believe
weekly series, an essay written by Gilmer explaining
how her life took a drastic turn for the better, will
be featured Monday during the radio network's edition
of All Things Considered. The program airs
from 3 to 6 p.m. on KUSR 89.5 and and KUSU 91.5 FM.
"I couldn't have been more thrilled,' Gilmer said.
"It gives me the chance to thank the Beaches publicly
and that was really heartfelt and warming."
Gilmer is the first broadcast essayist from Utah to
be chosen from among more than 10,000 submissions for
the series based on the 1950s program created by Edward
"What a powerful story," Series Executive Producer
Dan Gediman said. "It is completely unique to her life
but at the same time a universal experience."
Aside from choosing essays from the general public,
the new rendition, which began in April 2005, features
personal essays from people such as John McCain, Errol
Morris, Colin Powell and Bill Gates.
"We're asking people from all walks of life to reflect
on important critical beliefs," Gediman said.
"In many respects, the most interesting essays come
from the general public."
Gilmer has enjoyed freelance writing for years and
decided to write an essay about how she believes in
the importance of family even if they may not be blood
"These people saved my life; you can go either way
as little girl," she said. "I am just so grateful that
they were brave enough to take in 15-year-old girl when
they didn't have to."
After reading the essay, Gediman expressed the same
feelings, emphasizing that many parents and children
can relate. He suspects there will be a very large emphathetic
response after the essay is aired.
The goal of the series This I Believe is
for Americans to share their personal feelings about
life and their core values. Even though the original
series first aired during the 1950s, many Americans
today share similar fears and worries as back then,
"I believe in America and I believe in our people.
I believe that our greatest strength in dealing with
the world is the openness of our society and the welcoming
nature of our people. A good stay in our country is
the best public diplomacy tool we have," former Secretary
of State Colin Powell said in the April 2005 morning
edition of the current series.
Essayists chosen for the series receive $200 as well
as a copy of a book with all the essays from the series
included in it, Gediman said.
"I think what NPR is doing is a really amazing thing,"
Gilmer said. "I think it's an invaluable gift that they
give their audience, the chance for the audience to
hear what's important to Americans."
Aside from free-lance writing, Gilmer is a meeting
planner for large corporations. She has lived in Logan
for three years. Previously, she worked in the hotel
business for most of her career in California.
A reading of her essay will be aired on NPR during
its edition of All Things Considered. In addition,
her essay will be available to read or listen to beginning
Monday at www.npr.org/thisibelieve.
Those interested in reading more about this series
or submitting an essay can visit the same Web site for