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» Saturday, June 25, 2016Almost Like Christmas, But Too Damn Hot!
So here it is, "Leon Day," six months until Christmas, and it is hot, hot, hot. The poor air conditioner is straining to keep up. Even at 9:30, the sun is already burning my skin as I walk the dog.
Well, this was the day I'd been waiting for since May 3, when Susan Branch's new book Martha's Vineyard: Isle of Dreams, the sequel to the first book in her biographical trilogy, was released. I didn't purchase it then because FoxTale Book Shoppe, a little independent store up in Woodstock, GA, was hosting Branch on her book tour in June (and if you think it was hard to wait for that book, you're soooo right). Today, in fact.
James went off to Hair Day with macaroni and cheese as a side dish. I had breakfast and got dressed, and then headed north about 10:30. Since I had time I wanted to stop at BJs because we needed ibuprofin. I also got more naproxen, ginger, and black pepper, then walked by the books and DVDs. Last week at Costco, we had seen a package of the complete Star Trek (the original series, remastered and digitized) for only $50. I was still thinking about it. Well, look here. BJs had it for $40. :-D
Filled up with gasoline, then continued on to Woodstock and the bookstore. I hadn't been to "downtown" Woodstock before, and it has a restored shopping area (gift shops and restaurants in the old businesses, and, as is pretty common in small Southern towns, a small railroad depot now used for something else). Fox Tales is a tiny place in a shopping center off a street partially blocked by construction. I went in to look around. It's a darling little store with a small but solid inventory, but I think we have more books in our library. :-) Next door appears to be a store that sells flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
I thought it was a little quiet for a store that was going to have an event, and when two more women entered, it turned out I was right. There had been so many people signed up they changed the venue to Magnolia Hall on the next street. I lucked out and found a parking space at the new venue that did not say "restaurant parking only" (although I suspect the restaurant only opens at night). By the time I got there the line was out the door, but it worked through easily as the helpers checked off each person and gave them their book. Then we sat down and waited.
I was pretty far in the back and ended up talking to two ladies, one named Karen Hall from Warner Robins. In fact, Karen and I basically talked for the entire time I was there, except when Susan herself was talking. Karen's husband was Air Force and will be retiring soon, and he's been walking the Appalachian Trail in segments. He is going to go up to New Hampshire soon to do the final leg, from there to Mount Katahdin in Maine. They are going to New England in the fall and I was tossing suggestions to her right and left. We both probably talked too much!
There was someone there with a beautiful quilt that appeared to be made with a Susan Branch or Susan Branch-type print of cloth. It was lovely!
First Susan answered some questions, like if she made a meal for her best friend what would it be, or what the pigeons in England sounded like. (She is going back to Great Britain again; I'm so envious!) I asked how she had first read Gladys Taber, because I'd been reading Stillmeadow books since I was in junior high. Turns out there was a Stillmeadow book left in the the first house she bought in Martha's Vineyard! After a half hour, it was time to queue up for autographs. The line didn't move very quickly because of people filling in from each of the rows, so it was over an hour before I reached the front. The lady from FoxTale was taking photographs for people, so I have pictures of myself getting the autograph as well as a photo taken with Susan. Her "best guy" Joe was there with her (they have been driving from book publicity session to session in the specially-painted van advertising Susan's book about England, A Fine Romance) and talking to people in the line. He even autographed a couple of books.
I was so thirsty by the time I got out of line I pretty much just took a couple more photos, some of the van and some of the venue, used the ladies' room, and then left. I was very dehydrated—I was pretty much perspiring all afternoon, to the point where I was soaked from my collar to my ankles—and arrived at home with a headache. Drank two glasses of milk before we went out to Olive Garden for dinner: we had a coupon and a gift card, so we had an appetizer (pepperoni and sausage flatbread, which was quite yummy) plus a dessert. We both brought half of our entrees home.
Ended up the night watching the first Star Trek disk ("Man Trap," ""Charlie X," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), which has a neat featurette at the end showing how they restored the films and the music, and then how they redid the special effects. Pretty keen.