Les always wanted to be part gypsy and we look the part. We travel to readings with the car loaded: the southern bites (rolls of cheese wafers, ready to slice, top with a pecan and bake), and the “family punch” (a cooler filled with the whiskey sour punch mix, seltzer to add at the last minute, and a three-gallon dispenser).
In Tampa we were reading at Inkwood Books, the area’s ONLY independent bookstore, celebrating its 20th year.
We stayed with my friend Meg, who fixed us a scrumptious dinner the night before: grilled tuna, a marvelous rice dish with sautéed onions, peppers, and fresh corn. For dessert, a creamy homemade panna cotta, with New Zealand honey and passion fruit sauce.
Meg made the second southern bite–sausage balls–and invited friends and colleagues to the reading. My daughter Allison drove up from Sarasota with two friends and son Phineas (This was his second reading, pretty good for an eight-year-old After the first one, he sidled up, put his arm around my waist, and said, “Good job”)
I talked about memoir and read the story of Momae shooting herself.
The next day while Meg worked, we swam in her secluded backyard pool and I discovered my aching arm no longer hurt and I could do the crawl. I’ve been swimming every day since.