Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fingers in Florida

From 10/23-28/13, I cruised around Florida talking Superman and Batman—synagogue/Jewish book festival Wednesday night, Jewish day school Thursday morning, synagogue Thursday night (part of the Miami Jewish Book Festival), synagogue Sunday morning (two youth audiences), and synagogue Monday night (two youth audiences).

The last was a first—the first time Athena Finger, Bill’s lone known granddaughter, and her sixth-grade son Ben attended my Bill Finger talk. And like previous times I’ve introduced surprise guests during talks (see here and here), the audience reacted with enthusiasm and deference.

During the Q&A, an adult in the audience asked if Athena would speak about her feelings on the subject…so though she hesitated at first, she (and Ben) boldly took the microphone and fielded questions like a total pro. That’s hard enough to do when you are expecting to face an audience.

After, a girl from Ben’s school came up to him. She sweetly said she’s on the yearbook committee and asked if she could put Ben on the “Did You Know?” page. He sheepishly said yes.

After that, I told Ben he may have to get a “BMOC” T-shirt, but not for “Big Man on Campus.” Of course I meant for “Batman on Campus.” To which his mom quickly said “Ben Man on Campus.” All work for me.

Funny, during my research for Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, someone told me that if you were Jewish in the Bronx in the 1930s and a decade or two after, and you retired, you’d move either to New Jersey or Florida. Gambling that more people chose Florida, I once cold-called every number in the directory
for the last name “Finger”—roughly 500. The number of Fingers related to Bill I found? 

A number you can’t make by holding up (straight) fingers…

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