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HOPE (Hawaiian Odysseus Profile of Excellence) Award--Tillsontitan

Updated on June 8, 2013
Surfer at Kalihiwai Beach, Kaua'i
Surfer at Kalihiwai Beach, Kaua'i | Source

Prior to reading this hub, had you ever heard of Tillson, NY, before?

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No Better Reason

What in the world would possess a Pacific Islander/Asian man, relatively new to HubPages, to begin yet another award series that pays tribute to fellow hubbers?

The HubPages gurus would graciously remind me that this particular genre of articles has no chance of enjoying an evergreen longevity. I would most definitely agree with that assessment.

The reasons I do this are several layers deep, but for the sake of brevity and holding the reader's attention, it comes down to one simple hyphenated word: win-win.

Allow me to explain.

If we're gut-level honest with ourselves, we writers realize that what we do--this passionate affair of writing--is to meet a very basic, perhaps even primal need to connect with others.

We write that others may read. Maybe, they'll even take time to give us feedback. That, in turn, motivates us to write even more. And if readers turn into a loyal following, why, that's just gravy on mashed potatoes. (Actually, I really wanted to write fish and poi, but I'm truly trying to go poly-cultural here.)

We reciprocate by reading what others have written. It enhances our perspective on issues, broadens our horizons, and ultimately shrinks our world. Cyber connection by way of our pooled literary efforts is an excellent means of punctuating our very existence. It affirms our reason for being.

For better or for worse--it really doesn't matter--those of us who are in the autumn or winter of our lives understand this compelling need to inscribe our marks on the global cave wall.

Rene Descartes philosophized: I think, therefore I am.

Each of us declares: I write, therefore I am.

Neil Diamond sang: I am, I said.

Similarly, each of us posits: I am, I write.

Julius Caesar mused: I came, I saw, I conquered.

Likewise, each hubber asserts: I joined, I hubbed, I connected.

tillsontitan (aka Mary Craig)
tillsontitan (aka Mary Craig) | Source

Tillson, NY

A markerTillson, New York -
Tillson, NY, USA
get directions

First Honorary HOPE Award Recipient

Tillson, a relatively unassuming hamlet located in Ulster County in our country's eleventh state, is a 180-degree disparity from the metropolitan, skyscraper-congested image one immediately conjures up at the mere mention of New York.

According to the 2010 census, Tillson is home to approximately 1586 people. Almost two-thirds of its adult residents are married. Family, pride of place, and education are indelibly etched into the character of this little town.

An underlying trait of Tillson that sets it apart from most municipalities of similar size is the tendency of its residents to work at home. Whether this is a colonial issue or a contemporary avant-garde lifestyle, the featured writer in this article is smack dab in her comfort zone.

Who is she? Well, she's certainly no shrinking violet. One look at her costumed avatar on HubPages will convince you that she's definitely not shy. On the contrary, she's larger than life and, undoubtedly, large on life.

Ladies and gentlemen, she's tillsontitan...the Who cares about Snow White? I'm in charge here! wicked queen of Hubsville, the provocative alter ego of lovable and charismatic writer extraordinaire, Mary Craig.

To Know Her is to Love Her

As a Christian, I know that the very best way for anyone to get to know God is to dig into His Word.

It's my unshakable belief that the same tenet holds true for us mortals. That is, the very best way we can know a fellow writer and engage in (pardon the pun) a long distance pen pal relationship is to voraciously read his or her writing. It's especially nice here in Hubsville when the admired writer reciprocates.

Why? Because, as I'll reiterate time and again in this projected new award series, successful writing involves at its very core this huge and intriguing concept of connecting with others.

When Mary writes, in a huge reversal of her avatar character, she becomes Gretel, leaving bread crumbs throughout the lines of each article. Figuratively, she's saying to her readers, Look, I'm leaving these doughy lines along the trail. To connect with me--to truly get who I am--simply connect the dots.

Ever since I read the first of dozens of tillsontitan hubs, one of the excellent literary pieces to be headlined later in this article (Criminal Minds: The TV Show and Characters), I've been avidly connecting the dots. And at the risk of gaining a few pounds as I savor the tasty morsels, I'm getting to know and more fully appreciate this very talented writer.

Joie de Vivre!

I think I have it pegged...the reason I so readily gravitate to the literary style of tillsontitan.

Carefully phrasing this to avoid sounding like the other half of a cliche-ridden mutual admiration society, the thing I truly enjoy about this small town New Yorker's approach to writing is her willingness to take huge risks.

Over-the-top, award-winning avatars aside, tillsontitan is not afraid to play the fool! How dare I ever think I had that market cornered? Truth be told, I read her hubs for inspiration!

Is it a sexagenarian thing, I wonder? The fact that we know we're this close to eternity and want to experience and share everything we can with the people we love and respect...the fact that we stopped spending needless energy worrying about what other people think, thus freeing us up to tap into immense, untapped cerebral reservoirs...the fact that somewhere along the line we discovered how playing the fool was synonymous with childlike innocence and freedom...

Whatever it is, this vibrant and prolific writer is constantly in your face with her tomfoolery.

She'll jump off any cliff and learn all about parachutes during the free fall.

She'll go swimming with a great white shark and declare, Why, Grandma, what great big teeth you have!

She'll run forty laps around Tillson and call it her New York City Marathon, all the while dressed as Cruella Deville.

But don't take my word for it, dear reader. Go find out for yourself. Plug her HubPages handle in the search window above, or click the links I've liberally provided, or--if you somehow came upon this article in an internet search (hey, I'm 60 and clueless about how this all works!)--then by all means, follow the long cyber trail of literary bread crumbs.

Chances are tillsontitan will have an assortment of freshly baked cookies and a tall glass of milk waiting for you. Ultimately, when she removes her super-heroine costume and multiple layers of adventuresome persona, Mary's a lovely, down to earth, and practical wife, mom, and grandma...the kind of solid, genuine, and personable individual you'd find at the core of a small town like Tillson.


Submit a Comment

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Paula!

    I love your perspective about multiple comments! Works for me big time! So good to hear from you again. How have you been? I read your profile again, and your voice certainly rings true in that quality-ridden style of yours. I love your moxie and spunk.

    Yes, Mary is quite the gem! She's been a big help to me in my journey here in Hubsville! In general, baby boomers rock, and I'm totally in the groove with that!

    Thanks for visiting, Effer, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of Sunday and a sassy 'n' sexy new week! Aloha, my friend!


  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Isn't it great that there is no rule about how many times we can visit and comment on any one hub? Coming back to read this hub and all the wonderful comments, is like visiting a favorite vacation spot! Oh, like maybe....HAWAII!?

    Til deserves this award and more......if anyone deserves this, Tillie DOES!

    She is so dedicated and it's obvious...........

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, mary615!

    It appears that the Marys on the east coast RULE! : )

    Mary Craig is an exceptional human being, and she's my peer/mentor/fellow Baby Boomer all rolled up into one. I have enjoyed her dynamic presence and support, just as you have, here in this wonderful literary community.

    It's one thing to write well. But what's equally valuable to me--and to you--is one's ability to connect with others. Kudos to you as well as to our tillsontitan for doing such a terrific job of that!



  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

    Sorry I didn't see this Hub before! You wrote about one of my very favorite people here in Hubville! She has been a loyal follower and supporter of my work for a long time. I truly value her friendship here.

    Voted Up and shared.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha and Shalom this fine Sabbath day, Jo!

    The air is electric as I write this. It's been super hot here for the last few weeks, and we're about due for one of those magnificent SE Washington thunderstorms. Anyway, Mary Craig is one of the most endearing and talented writers here on HubPages, and it was an easy matter to promote her and her excellent writing with this hub. I am so happy that you found and enjoyed this hub, Jo! I appreciate your wonderful support! Have a fun evening!


  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    This is amazing! What a great award and choice of personality for the achievement. I really enjoy reading your work. I am

    just about guaranteed to find something that helps lift my spirits. Shared, tweet & Up across the board. :-) Aloha!


  • Teresa Schultz profile image

    Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

    Interesting that you found sea glass on ebay - we'll have a look - yeah it's niche but pretty big in the U.S. with sea glass festivals and everything - do a sea glass search on Pinterest and see all the beautiful pics! It's still hardly known in South Africa, but we love it! Have a great day!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Teresa Schultz

    Thank you, Teresa. Back at you and Tony both. In regards to eBay, you know that I try not to miss a beat. Well, when you mentioned sea glass, it triggered me to do an eBay search. Oh, my word! Search for those key words sometime and get into the items that have sold. You will be amazed! I didn't realize there was an actual niche market for sea glass. Guess I see the world through bifocals--one for eBay, one for hubs! : ) You guys have a good week!

  • Teresa Schultz profile image

    Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

    Tony and I are doing okay, thanks, and the boys are well. That very cold weather sounds great by you - we've been plagued for far too many days lately with horrid humidity levels ( 97% was the worst, one night about 10 days ago) coupled with fairly high temperatures of 24 Celsius (75 F) to 28 Celsius (82 F) and things can actually get a little dangerous with that combination - we do think it's calming down a bit now though, with the humidity dipping beneath 70% from time to time now. Bliss!

    Well done on all the walking - Tony and I are really awful in that we're not doing much at all to keep fit other than some walks on the beaches recently, while collecting sea glass and taking photos - but only about once or twice a week.

    Thanks for connecting - you do it so well.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    And every bit of it is warmly received and cherished, dear friend. Thank you so much for gracing your fellow Hubbers' lives with your outstanding writing, personable charm, and generous and encouraging comments. Aloha, and have an eventful and memorable week!

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

    HawaiiO you make me laugh. Here, you, the most creative mind around, compliment me on creativity. This award runs through your easy going Hawaiian style, yet another tribute to your giving personality...after reading your last comment I'm afraid to click my heels together for fear of landing in OZ!

    The connection here (in hubvillel) is one of the warmest and greatest I have known. I've had friends for over fifty years, but none have crept up on me like the hubbers of hubville.

    To borrow some thoughts from the story of "The Grinch"; every hubber in hubville, the tall and the small, stands close together, the one and the all. With hearts that are giving and bursting with cheer as they welcome each other and share, year to year.

    If anyone can make a Grinch's heart grow its the members of hubville, yes, one and all! With the joy and compassion and dedication in hubville, it really is the best place to be.

    Thank you again HawaiiO. (Whew, that was a long-winded comment, but it is filled with love.)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Teresa and Tony! How are you and the children doing? Over here in the Pacific Northwest, it's a frigid yet bearable 36 degrees with some snow in the forecast. How about where you are? In keeping with one of my resolutions for the year, I've been getting out for a walk 5-6 days a week, no matter how cold, and it's been very enjoyable. Before the year's up, I think I'll be jogging again. Which only goes to show--our minds...our aspirations...are certainly younger than our bodies. LOL! Aloha, you two!

  • Teresa Schultz profile image

    Teresa Schultz 5 years ago from East London, in South Africa

    "has no chance of enjoying an evergreen longevity" ? Oh I do hope this hub does enjoy an evergreen longevity - what an excellent hub! Your writing style (excellent) seemed to really "pop" out at me here too. Enjoyed this hub, and Tony and I enjoy you.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    I am absolutely thrilled that you stopped by to participate in this hub tribute to Mary. Thank you, too, for being a follower. I am so honored, Martie, especially after having read an initial sampling of your talented writing. Also, I must say that marcoujor did a great job of asking questions that elicited your heart and soul answers. (I love her work by the way!) I mention all of this because connection is such a huge element for us writers, and had I not written this hub about tillsontitan, it may have been months before I'd have encountered other stellar writers like you and Marie. Here's to the banner year that simply can't wait to be born...and all the potential writing adventures awaiting us!

    A few minutes ago, I reciprocated the following. I've fastened my seat belt, and the adrenaline's coursing through my veins as I get prepared for the ride of my life! : ) See you at the next hub stop!

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

    This is an excellent, entertaining hub - kept me smiling from beginning to end.....

    I love this statement of yours: "I joined, I hubbed, I connected." This could become HubPages' slogan.

    Mary of Tilstan never fails to delight us with her hubs and comments. She deserves The Hawaiian-Odysseus-Profile-of-Excellence-Award.


  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    Mary, even in your comments, your unique and upbeat style adds credibility to my hub.

    Unawaringly, perhaps, you challenge and encourage each of us aspiring blue collar workers to shed the last vestiges of inhibitions in order to discover our own special writer's voice. It's my belief that when we pull back that proverbial curtain in the land of Oz and discover the genuine identity of the muse compelling us to write, our writing will accelerate to Warp 5 and beyond.

    May the good Lord continue to shower His abundant favor on you and all the wonderful writers who grace HubPages with their collective...and connective...efforts.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    First of all, dear Mary and fellow hubbers, due to the ineptness of yours truly--mainly, the late posting of Mary's original response message--Mary thought it might have been lost in cyberspace. So she followed it up with a second message. In it, she thanked all of you for your loyal readership of her work as well as the wonderful tribute comments here. I apologize for my oversight.

    Mary, even in your unique and upbeat comments here, you give my hub credibility by proving my point.

    Through your style of writing, you unawaringly, perhaps, challenge and encourage so many of us blue collar writers to shed the last vestige of inhibitions in order that we might more readily discover our own true writer's voice. It's my belief that once we're able to discover the writing muse

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hello, Effer! I'm deeply encouraged that by virtue of paying homage to one fabulous New Yorker, I have the privilege of becoming acquainted with yet another. This is the creme de la creme of HubPages--this beautiful and eventful notion of connecting with other writers...and the really cool way these connections occur. It's my fond hope that we'll run into each other now and then at the Hubsville soda fountain to exchange hub ideas and comments, brainstorming to the nth degree! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha, marcoujor! My hub pales in comparison to the superb interview article you wrote featuring Mary. (I absolutely love your writer assessment/interview niche by the way!) The fact that this talented writer has been double-dipped by a couple of admirers speaks volumes as to the hearts she's touched and the minds she's invaded with her crafty style. I'm happy to meet you as well,marcoujor, and I have a feeling our paths shall cross again as we cross the rainbow's arc from the last whispers of 2012 to the clarion call of 2013! Aloha, and--as we Hawaiians say--Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state well you should, dear lady! Well-deserved! God bless you this coming year with even more rejuvenated brain my case, I'm barely hanging on to the ones I've been busily recycling. : )

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    HawaiianOdysseus......I see that in addition to being an incredibly talented writer, you are an expert at choosing Award Recipients. Our lovely Ms. Mary Craig....or as I have always called her, "Til or Tillie," is the perfect choice for the Profile of Excellence Award!

    I want you to know that I may appreciate this honor you bestow upon her, as much as she does.

    You see, I remind her continually how positively fabulous her hubs her talents are blatant and many....and recently I assured her that "she's knockin 'em dead!"

    The fact is, HO...I truly enjoy being right!!....LOL Oh, and one more thing.......I do hate to encourage envy, but Til and I share the same State and live only hours apart. Therefore, one day, I shall have the enormous pleasure of meeting this great lady, face to face!!

    THIS, is my favorite hub in months!!.........UP+++++ and shared

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Good Golly Miss Molly... I mean ...

    no way Hose... Oh my, I can think of no other corny cliche but

    Perhaps slap me Hawaii Five Oh No You Didn't...!! Pick one of my very favorite Hubber ladies in HubVille to bestow the HOPE award to...!

    Mary is one of the kindest, grandest, altruistic and beautiful women in our community. I am blessed to call her friend. Her writing style is meaningful, articulate and passionate.

    Excellent choice. Wonderful to meet you! Happy, peaceful 2013!

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

    P.S.....I'm pimping this hub all over the place :)

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

    First, I would like to thank the Academy...oops, wrong one....seriously, I was laughing and crying reading this hub....Hawaiian Odysseus Profile of Excellence Award, what a true honor! I was just stopping by your profile page to see what you had written recently and voila!! You know, if your weren't such a nice guy and I didn't admire your writing so much it might not be such a special award....but I love to read your writing and am truly honored by your respect and tribute! (Guess us old folks have to stick together.) Its what hubages is all about!

    I am astonished at your research of our little berg! Just FYI, I know all 1586 people and there are some who still call my Cruella in memory of my piece de resistance! But, I digress. The hub community has become a very warm place for me and allowed me to meet so many wonderful and talented people like yourself. I do tend to just dive in you know....when I was a young teenager I dove into the deep end of the swimming pool (I didn't know how to swim) but the lifeguard that pooled me out was very nice....I'm still jumping in first and thinking later. It brings joy and experience and wonderful folks like yourself. God bless my dear friend, and I hope you and yours have a wonderful, healthy and Happy New Year. (BTW I'll be waiting to read who the next winner is.)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Hi, my friend! Brrr! Here in Walla Walla, WA, we are approximately 56 degrees colder than you presently have it in Mumbai. Very chilly morning, but I must say, Rajan, your words, as usual, are heartwarming and uplifting. As we prepare to meet our new year of 2013, let us continue to give thanks for life, love, family, and friendship! Have a great day, my friend, and I shall do the same. Thank you so much for faithfully stopping by. Aloha!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    This is a wonderful tribute to a fine writer HO. Your hubs always are a compelling read.

    Voted up my friend.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Karen Hellier

    Oh, my, blushing big time on this end, and for a Hawaiian, that's saying a lot! I look like the varying subtle hues of a vanda orchid. Ha-ha!

    I may just take you up on your warmhearted challenge and write a book someday soon...but you must promise to say YES when I invite you to join me on Oprah : ) know, as the writing mentor/muse colleague!

    Hoping your "vacation" (and I put that in quotes because you're always nonstop with the work ethic syndrome, girl!) is going well with hubby and the rest of the family...and I truly wish for you in 2013 incredibly fascinating adventures of body, mind, and spirit. Just one more parting wish for us is that as we grow older, our minds grow younger. Happy Hubbin' !

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

    Wow, wow, wow, once again I am amazed at the depth and the pure joy I experience when reading your writing. You have such a wonderful way with words. I love the descriptions you have used here to describe Tillsontitan. I think you are truly a writing genius and I would LOVE to read a book of essays written by you on a variety of topics in our world today? Care to add that to your goals for 2013??? You have such an entertaining writing style that is thoroughly enjoyable to me and I am sure all the other hubbers out there. And after reading this hub in tribute to Tillsontitan, I am quite sure she will be getting a whole slew of views and new followers and will be forever indebted to you for writing such a fantastic and glowing hub about not only her literary talents but her unique persona. Keep up the good work hawaiianodysseus. You are becoming my newest favorite author!!! Please seriously consider writing a book. I will buy it in bulk to simplify my Christmas shopping for next year!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Tom, for your gracious reception of this detour from my usual eBay anecdotes in order to acknowledge and pay tribute to a gifted writer. Like you, I'm just plugging away at this HubPages juggernaut. I don't know too much to contribute to any discussion regarding Google, Panda, Penguin, or whichever of God's creatures Google uses to dub its algorithm antics. And while I've seen dips in the usual readership, I figure everyone's off doing their holiday thing, and I'm just going to keep applying myself here on HubPages. In the meantime, I am so appreciative of faithful friends like you, wetnosedogs, CrisSp, xstatic, and others who remind me on a daily basis that we'll all get through this marathon of writing by encouraging and uplifting each other, one slow step of progress at a time. Thank you, my friend, and I wish you the very best in 2013!

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend hope you had a very Merry Christmas . Thanks for this great hub and big congrats to tillsontitan for being the first winner of the soon to be famous Hawaiian Odysseus Profile of Excellence Award.Has always i have enjoyed reading your hubs, i enjoy your style of writing and i am never disappointed reading anything you have written. Love the hub !

    Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, xstatic! I agree with you about Mary being a really nice person. What I especially like is that she is very loyal to her faithful followers, and she always takes time to write meaningful comments. Reminds me of this gifted writer, voiceover artist, and budding law enforcement character actor I know from the University of Oregon vicinity. : ) Merry last hour of Christmas, my friend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, WND! I do believe in promoting people who work hard, whether it's the young woman working at Starbucks, the mailman diligently committed to getting the mail delivered, or those who passionately share their excellent talent and spread goodwill here on HubPages. I am very grateful to you for your wonderful contributions and superb connectivity with others.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Great award to a great writer and a really nice person. Mary is one of the best around. I read all she writes as soon as I know it is available.

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

    This grand lady you speak of will have quite the surprise when she checks out your hub.

    I think it is wonderful how you do indeed connect us. I have checked out her profile and I do want to go back and read some of her hubs.

    You have seemed to have found a niche on hubbers as well as your ebay hubs.

    Great work.


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