New Hampshire! In full autumn couture. Now this is something to return to after months of adventure and slog on the road. Benjamin and I coaxed trembling Callie all the way to Manchester from Albany and there let her rest a spell, in the parking lot in front of my mother’s house. We’d impose on my mom for a couple of nights, the second of which would bring us our 35th and penultimate book event.
I grew up on the West Side of Manchester. I went to West High, where I was fortunate enough to have a bunch of great teachers, particularly English teachers– Mr. Sullivan can probably take the credit for getting me interested in writing and language in the first place. Mr. Duffy and Mr. Amero are right up there as well. I invented a position for myself on the school paper, becoming its first official copy editor in a while, maybe ever; the constant typos in headlines had just gotten to be too much for me.
I’d spread the word to my Manchester and West connections before the event, hoping that at least a few folks from the old days would turn up, and I wasn’t disappointed. Benjamin and I played to a crowd of about 35 to 40 people at the Barnes & Noble, including several folks from my high-school years, and a couple of West High English teachers, one of whom teaching in the position that Mr. Sullivan left behind when he retired. There were some dedicated folks in the crowd. Someone came out to the event on her birthday; someone else had driven up from Connecticut. The enthusiasm that everyone showed for better spelling and grammar seems to me evidence of true heroics. Our bright future lies ahead!
Here’s the Manch audience (including Karen, the dedicated event coordinator, always looking for suggestions for improvement), making our penultimate event a great success:
One more, good friends and fellow standard-bearers! This ridiculously extended book tour has but one more stop, in the shining valley where the seeds for adventure were first planted. I’ll see you at Dartmouth.