betty smith wrote ("a tree grows in brooklyn"): "MY book wasn't dedicated to anyone because i couldn't decide which person was most helpful to me in the writing of it. i thought of the mother who gave me life. i owe a lot to her - and to my sister and brother who made my childhood a magical time. i am grateful to my children whose baby years made a life of pleasant contentment for me. there is something owing to a beloved friend and to an understanding husband; there is a debt to a loved teacher. the grocer who gave me affectionate credit during the lean writing years cannot be forgotten, nor the veterinarian who set my dog's broken leg and brushed aside my promise to "pay sometime," with a gallant, "oh, forget it!"
i am indebted to chance acquaintances on trains and in bus stations for exchanged confidences about the everlasting verities of life. i am deeply obligated to a person who caused me much anguish because the grief made me grow up emotionally and gave me a little more understanding. i am tenderly grateful to an employer of long ago who on a hot august afternoon told me that the job i was applying for had been filled but who urged me to sit down and rest a minute before i went on to answer the next ad. he brought me a paper cup of iced water. my cup flowed over, literally, when i added a couple of tired tears to the water.
all of these people - hundreds more - in fact, everyone who touched my life for good or bad helped in the writing of my book. i could not dedicate it to one without being disloyal to the others.