Sunday, November 22, 2009

That's me all over

It's been awhile since my last post. And a long, strange, wonderful trip it's been.

A few highlights. I was in St. Louis to receive an alumni award from Washington University. The featured speaker for the night was to have been David McCullough, who has written so many terrific histories including Truman and John Adams.

Alas, it was announced, Mr. McCullough was very ill and unable to appear. As someone who travels to make speeches myself, I knew he had to be extremely sick not to show. It was our loss.

The next morning, sunning myself in the little square in front of my hotel, I noticed a distinguished gentleman on the bench nearby. I approached.

"Mr. McCullough? How are you feeling?"

He declared himself a bit woozy but much improved from the extreme misery of the day before. He was deciding whether to travel on to Ohio for his next appearance, or go home. He invited me to sit down and I spend a magical half hour, chatting about being on the road, writing, and reading. He told me about the book he's working on, which sounds amazing. (It's not my place to divulge.)

I asked him what he was reading and he said, "Trollope."

"You are the third person in the past few months to tell me to read Trollope," I said and confessed the length of his novels discouraged me. He suggested, "The Warden" as a good place to begin, and then he let me know he needed to sit in quiet again.

I went back to my hotel room, fired up my Kindle and much to my surprise and delight, I found "The Warden" available for free! I downloaded it and am enjoying it not only for the story and the writing, but also because the pleasure of that delightful mashup of coincidences and centuries and technology.

No comments: