Readers of my two previous blogs will know that I have been giving an account of my latest adventure in Wisconsin (I know… The words ‘Wisconsin’ and ‘adventure’ don’t usually go together.) And now, FINALLY, I am to the day of the book signing.
First, let me state that nighttime driving through Milwaukee during rush hour is not for the timid. Or, in fact, for the sane. Especially on a Friday night when EVERYONE on the road is either, a) exhausted, b) hungry, or c) already drunk. But, speaking candidly, it is better than driving in Jacksonville, Florida. You have heard the saying, “Dance like no one is watching.” Well, Floridians drive like no one is watching, least of all themselves. Wisconsin drivers actually obey traffic laws.
I arrived at my motel in the town of Sheboygan (where the signing was to be held the next day) just after 9:00 pm, and checked in. The same young man that had made my reservations over the phone was on duty that night. I recognized the depression. He silently encoded my card key and had me sign in. I had to ask him what my room number was since he didn’t actually speak. I suppose I could have just wandered around the small motel, trying slots, but I didn’t want to get arrested before I’d had my dinner.
The next morning John Campbell (author of WALK TO PARADISE GARDEN, and A LARK ASCENDING) and his sister Ann White (A trial lawyer who jumped the career ship to enjoy life in bohemian fashion – Her mind is too big to be contained in only one career) . . . But to get back to what I was saying, John and Ann picked me up for the signing.
But first, I was taken to breakfast then taken on a tour of Sheboygan.
Sheboygan is charming. I could live there. Except for the winters that rival the Russian tundra’s. Fortunately, the weather was spectacular for my visit, with autumn leaves at their peak. Here is a picture of Lake Michigan:
Beautiful, isn’t it?
And here is a picture of John at the lake.
He looks like he’s contemplating the meaning of life, but in reality he was saying, “Yes, there is sand down here.” Also? He is NOT fat. That is his jacket.
Here is a picture of Ann and John at the marina.
They look serious. Also? John’s head is glowing. Either it is from a tiny beam of heavenly light, a halo, or he is silently conversing with aliens. I will have to ask.
I wish I could post more pictures of Sheboygan, but I had better get to the signing.
Here I am (with John, not in silhouette this time, also selling copies of his book, WALK TO PARADISE GARDEN) at the Z-Spot Espresso and Coffee, where I am enjoying an Angry Pumpkin.
And, no, that is not code for my belly. The Angry Pumpkin is the name of my Chai.
It was at this point that I finally got to meet John’s wife Pamla.
Pamla is one of those rare people who enjoy staying active. I used to. When I was nine. Then as soon as puberty hit I went from running, jumping, and climbing to eating, reading, and sleeping.
Pamla prefers walking over driving. She walked from her job at the bank to the book signing.
We arrived by car.
We looked for her on the way, but couldn’t find her. Either because she had long since outstripped us, or had taken several detours, walking around the block many times just for the sheer boost of it.
I wish I could be like that. . .
The book signing was really a book party. The Z-Spot catered it, courtesy of John and Pamla. It was well attended. I met many friends there. I also took several videos. Videos AND pictures. Unfortunately, I forgot to get permission to post the pictures, so you will have to rely on your imagination. Visualize, if you will, a happy mob laughing, reading, eating cheese, crackers, salami, fruit, and drinking coffee, tea, chai. Sorry. That is the best that I can do . . .
Then after the signing, I went back to John and Pamla’s for cocktails and amazingly good finger-food.
I know. The picture is too dark to see what we ate, but I thought at least it would make up for not having pictures of the book party.
To put it simply: I had a great time. The hospitality was unbelievable. It didn’t end with Saturday, but extended through the whole of the weekend, finishing with a truly tasty dinner at the Duke of Devon (an English pub off the marina) and another evening sitting and visiting by John and Pamla’s fireplace.
So now I will leave you with a picture of Nik, my fireside lap companion. . .
And a big thank you to everyone who made my book launch unforgettable!
Stay tuned . . .
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