Travel Snapshots, or How to Fix Wobbly Tables
Posted by Kevin Salwen on 02.15.2010Share

Road trips rarely go exactly as planned, and this one has been no exception. We were hit by a foot of snow for launch night in New York (but 70 folks still showed up to pack the Corner Bookstore). Hannah's flight was cancelled, so her plan to return to Atlanta for 2 days was nixed.

But, as always, it's the people who have been the most memorable. A few vignettes:

-- After our appearance on The View, Brooke Shields hung out on the set, eager to tell us about her family rule of "bring in a toy, take out a toy." The excess toys go to the needy.

At The View, audience members each received a copy of our book, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. After we left the studio and were walking across West 66th Street, we stopped behind a group holding copies. Teasingly, I said to a man at the crosswalk, "Hey I heard that's a good book." He clearly didn't recognize me, and quickly replied: "Well, it will make a good table straightener." I laughed. He then saw I was the guy from the show, and sheepishly added, "No, I'm looking forward to reading it." I still find myself chuckling that The Power of Half is the literary alternative to a dozen sugar packets.

-- In Exeter, New Hampshire, the owner of the Water Street Bookstore, Dan, introduced us by asking the audience to close their eyes, then exhale, then inhale. After eyes were reopened, he told the crowd, "What you're going to learn tonight is like that; you need to get rid of some things before you can take in the new." Really nice opening. After our presentation, when we were the last ones in store, he made a point of giving each of us any book we chose from his shelves -- a tradition he says he started years ago for visiting authors. Nice.

-- Finally, Hannah, Joan and I headed for Uno's Chicago Grill in Concord, N.H., for a late pizza dinner. As we waited for a table, the manager Mark asked if we were here for a Valentine's dinner. No, we explained, we were on book tour and we briefly explained the premise of the book. He quickly exclaimed, "I read about that in the New York Times. I think what you guys are doing is great!"

We ate our pizza and prepared to leave when the shock came. The server stopped by the table to tell us that Mark had told her not to bill us. "He said you guys were doing something really cool to help the world, so dinner is on him." Wow, thanks, Mark!

We enjoyed your presentation in Highland Park and are posting a story about it on our blog 2/19/10 – Good luck with the rest of your tour!
Posted by Peg and Don at 7:05pm on 02.18.2010

That is lovely Nancy. Also lovely gesture by Mark the manager. Thanks for more inspiration!
Posted by Dharma at 09:26am on 02.17.2010

This makes me think about Racael Scott, the girl who was the first student killed at Columbine 11 years ago whose family is now traveling the country spreading her message. One of the things she said in an essay she wrote was "start a chain reaction" by doing positive things. That is what you and your family have done. Your dinner in NH was a chain reaction to your action. Your book tour is going to keep that going. Very inspiring!! Bless you all! :-)
Posted by Nancy at 2:12pm on 02.16.2010