|Ready for the Big Night|
It isn’t every day of the year that an author from Washington, DC, comes to Northport, Michigan, with an important, nationally reviewed new book on a period of American history fascinating to almost everyone. That’s what happened on the last day of July, however, when David Roll visited Dog Ears Books and held an audience enthralled with his stories of Harry Hopkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin. What a special event it was! I saw a few people in the audience I hadn’t seen in the bookstore all summer, a few all the way from Torch Lake, and a contingent of loyal Northporters. Still others close to home (or away on road trips) expressed regret at having scheduling conflicts that kept them from attending.
Various audience members, intrigued by his stories, asked questions of the author, and several, making purchases of the book following the presentation, expressed appreciation for his entertaining and informative talk. Again, an event like this is something you will never get online.
Before I introduced David Roll, I reminded those gathered (in my husband’s beautiful art gallery!) that we were meeting on the last day of the 20th anniversary month of Dog Ears Books. I keep saying it over and over, not because my ego is so huge but because it’s hard for me to believe. Twenty years! The little shed where my bookstore was born is long gone. Woody’s Settling Inn, the restaurant next door to the shed, is long gone, the site newly cleared and ground broken for a new building to take shape soon. Borders came to Traverse City and then disappeared from the entire country in the 20 years that Dog Ears Books has been around. Isn’t this a pretty incredible history for a bookstore born in a little village at the end of a peninsula in northern Michigan?
The only thing I forgot was my punch line. When announcing that I would be paying the sales tax for purchasers last night and that an additional five dollars would buy them my usually nine-dollar book bag, I had intended to add, “And when you buy books and bags here, you’re not just 'buying stuff.' You’re supporting literary culture in Northport!” Okay, so I’m saying it here and now.
David Roll was a gracious bookstore guest and stayed to sign a few extra copies of his book for me after everyone else had left. Already the next morning before store opening time two of those four copies had been spoken for.
“A preposition is a word you mustn’t end a sentence with.” Did Winston Churchill say that? Or was it Ogden Nash? Never mind. The après-sunset glow of my drive home last night matched my mood, and grammar was the least of my concerns. Oh, and did I mention that David Roll may be a Washington lawyer but he is also a Michigan native? Oh, yeah!