It was foreordained: I was born the product of two verbal people.
My father, who wished to be a historian but ended up a trial lawyer (perhaps the same thing, except for the income), could--and did--recite Shakespeare at length. He wrote occasional poetry at the drop of a hat and was therefore called upon to versify for friends' and family events of all types. My mother was said to be gifted as a writer in college, although she came to produce other things later in life (like three daughters).
Not surprising, then, that I should have escaped into a world of beloved books (all of the Marguerite Henry