Denzel Washington Reunites with his Childhood Librarian For her 99th Birthday; She Gives him Handmade Scarves In Return

A photo posted on Imgur Thursday (pictured) shows the woman next to Hollywood legend Denzel Washington. The librarian is beaming and both have handmade scarves around their necks. The person who published the photo said in the caption it showed her grandmother, a 99-year-old former librarian from Mount Vernon, next to Washington, whom she had always remembered fondly. Several people had tried to contact Washington to arrange a meetup, to no avail, the poster wrote. But the librarian finally got to talk to him on the phone on her 99th birthday, and the two finally made plans for a reunion. 'She ALWAYS tells the story of how she gave Denzel Washington his first library card and how she remembers him for his unique name "and he was the cutest thing," ' the poster wrote.
A photo posted on Imgur Thursday (pictured) shows the woman next to Hollywood legend Denzel Washington. The librarian is beaming and both have handmade scarves around their necks. The person who published the photo said in the caption it showed her grandmother, a 99-year-old former librarian from Mount Vernon, next to Washington, whom she had always remembered fondly. Several people had tried to contact Washington to arrange a meetup, to no avail, the poster wrote. But the librarian finally got to talk to him on the phone on her 99th birthday, and the two finally made plans for a reunion. ‘She ALWAYS tells the story of how she gave Denzel Washington his first library card and how she remembers him for his unique name “and he was the cutest thing,” ‘ the poster wrote.

Denzel Washington just reconnected with a very special figure from his past.

While in town to promote his new film Fences, Washington stopped by an assisted living community in Atlanta to wish Miss Connie, his childhood librarian, a happy 99th birthday.

The two had not seen each other in nearly 50 years, but the now-retired librarian never forgot the day Washington, around 7 years old at the time, came to the children’s department of the Mount Vernon public library to ask for a book.

When Washington became a movie star, Miss Connie enjoyed remembering the actor as the “cute little boy” who lived across the street from the library and would often stop in to say hello with his mother. After hearing her story, friends at Miss Connie’s assisted living community home decided to post a video of her retelling her memories of Washington to YouTube.

In the video, the former librarian recalls that the first time Washington came to the children’s section, he asked for a “little, skinny book” that he could read over the weekend, so that he could have his book report done by Monday. Miss Connie always cherished the memory, and was proud to learn that Washington gave back to the community after becoming wealthy, donating $1 million to the local Boys and Girls Club where he grew up. “He’s a wonderful human being,” she says.

After hearing about the video, Washington called Miss Connie and told her he also remembers that first day at the library. During the phone call, which was recorded for another video, Washington tells his former librarian that he never stopped reading, and made plans to see her in person while in Atlanta to promote Fences. 

Finally, almost half a century since Miss Connie gave Washington his first library book, the two reunited in person on Wednesday in Atlanta. “Mr. Washington spent quite a bit of time with us. He came in and gave Miss Connie a kiss on the cheek,” said Brooke Munson, executive director of Atria Senior Living in Marietta, Georgia. “They held hands and he was even kind enough to get his mother on the phone so she could chat with us for a few minutes.”

Denzel Washington and Miss Connie // ATRIA SENIOR LIVING
Denzel Washington and Miss Connie // ATRIA SENIOR LIVING

Another staff member tells PEOPLE, “Denzel said to us, ‘You don’t know where the road is going to take you, and who you’re going to meet that will have an impact on your life. This lady had an incredible impact on my life, and now here I am.’ So it started with him reading those skinny little books, and now he’s making big movies.”

Miss Connie, an avid knitter, gave two scarves to Washington, one for him and one for his wife. She also gave the actor a scholastic book with a dedication in the beginning thanking him for the work he’s done with children, and she made a contribution to the Boys and Girls Club of Mount Vernon because of their connection. “She wants to make sure more children have the same opportunities that he had,” says a staff member.

Click here for more.

SOURCE: PEOPLE – Mike Miller