The experience has been beyond fun, far exceeding my expectations. One of my favorite moments was meeting an older gentleman who happened to sit down in the reading area to rest while his son browsed elsewhere. He was too polite to get up and leave once the reading started. And at the end, he bought a book and asked me to sign. Turned out to be a former marine, like the title character. Semper Fi, my friend! Other highlights included:
- Stonington, CT: First reading. Learned that briefer is better.
- Minneapolis and Cleveland: Thanks to brother Bob, great crowds of enthusiastic book buyers. In Cleveland, saw relatives and friends I haven't seen in decades--including my high school sweetheart. (Much as my ego would like to think otherwise, she was in town for other reasons.)
- Wilton: A great crowd was kind enough to show up and support this neighbor. My editor, the great Liz Van Hoose of Viking, came and didn't disavow knowing me or my work. Bookseller sold out of stock!
- Cincinnati: A reader and now friend, along with his beautiful wife and daughter, drove two hours to attend. Incredible. If that were me, I would have asked for gas money.
- Chicago: Mini-reunion with several college buddies. At the reading, arranged by my generous friend Sheila, I met and talked with Christopher Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy's youngest son. He looks and talks just like his father. Could not have been nicer or more down-to-earth. Also met Peter Lawford's grandson, who spent more time checking out his uncle's book (Arnold Schwarzenegger) than mine. I'm pretty sure I outsold Arnold that night, though.
- Columbus: A total of four canceled flights, but I made it! And thanks to lifelong friend Murph, a great crowd of friendly, enthusiastic book buyers.