Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back-to-back talks: synagogue and library

On 4/15/12, I spoke at Congregation Beth El, a synagogue in Bethesda, MD, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. and Chinn Park Regional Library in Woodbridge, VA, from 2:15 to 3 p.m.

At Beth El, during the Q&A, a woman asked if my “spit curl” was in honor of Superman’s.



I said no, though it would be a sight if I could somehow position what I hadnt realized was a spit curl into the shape of an N…

Special thanks to and photographs above © Mitchell Solkowitz.

When I left for Chinn Park, the GPS said I’d arrive at 1:43 p.m. Due to unforeseen traffic on both the original and detour routes, I did not arrive until 2:15 p.m. Of course I called from the car to alert them to the situation, and also turned on my laptop and queued up the presentation start slide so I could run in with the netbook, plug it in, and go. (Of course I fiddled with the laptop only when stopped in traffic—which was most of the trip.)

In the final minutes before my arrival, sporting gritted teeth, I’d prepared an opening apology line: “Superheroes always arrive in the nick of time. Now we know that authors, unfortunately, do not.” But once I saw that the turnout was much bigger than I was expecting, I debated changing my line to this: “Now I know why I was late. I’m assuming all of you were the traffic that was in front of me.”

In fact, this was possibly the biggest turnout I’ve ever had at a library—standing room only, and not a small room. I was heartened that the audience hadn’t bailed because I was late—or because it was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. When I finally did get there, a few kind souls told me before I began speaking that such traffic is a regular occurrence in that particular corridor. It did make me feel better.

Two previous photos courtesy of KimSu Beauregard

Among the many kind people I was fortunate to meet at the library was a precious first grader who has been battling (and kicking the tail of) leukemia. She was a hug magnet. Another was the voice of Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn for DC Comics audio books.

Traffic going home, mercifully, was easy like Sunday afternoon.

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