Book Bob Avey

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Adventures and oddities encountered during book-signing events have kept this newsletter going, generating the lion’s share of content since inception.

However, my participation in such outings has, of lately, been lacking. Due in part to my sloth-like approach to novel writing, my efforts have been somewhat thwarted by the lack of having a new book to sign, but that’s not the whole story. Other reasons lurk in the etheric land of authorship.

Top ten reasons people don’t buy books at book signings:

10. Will the book be available at the bookstore after you leave? This is just a polite way of saying no.

A few days ago, while driving to work, something caught my attention: An unusual person, walking along the side walk, which paralleled the street. She wore a long, black coat or robe that resembled a habit. Had it not been for the cigarette dangling from her hand, I might have thought she was a nun, who’d decided she now wanted none of that and had engineered an escape, a leave of absence, a scaling of the wall to take a leisurely stroll outside the confines of the convent. Who was this lady and what was her story? Had she fallen asleep at a costume party, just now making her way back home? Was it the only coat she had? Perhaps she’d stolen the garment from a nun now lacking of habits.

Not long ago, when authors were still somewhat of a rarity, a favorite question of audiences was: Where do you get your ideas?

Honestly, I have no idea. If you’re still with me, you’ve no doubt discovered that – only for the moment mind you – I’ve nothing to say. Then again, this is a newsletter, and the news people on the air – television, radio, etc. – ramble on for hours without substance.

My flip phone had been teetering on the edge of obsolescence since we’d come together a couple years ago, and I’d been thinking about ending the relationship on compatibility issues, moving on to something a little more productive. It’s uncanny how fate steps in and resolves these issues. The old flip gave up the ghost, died right in the middle of a conversation with my son. Kathi said it was sun spots. I don’t know. However, the financial impact did put a solar flare in my pocketbook. We went shopping and Kathi, David and I ended up with i-Phone 4’s, which, when combined, makes an i-Phone 12. When you start hearing about i-Phone 5’s, just remember I’m seven steps ahead of the game.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that the Avey clan is caught up in the midst of building a new house. Actually the builders are building it. We just drive by now and then to keep them on track. Yeah, I know. But I actually observed an error in the construction on one such trip. The framers had forgotten to allow for a doorway from the kitchen to the dining room. I used my i-Phone to snap a photo of the snafu and sent it to the builder.

Reopening of the South Fork Bridge after flood in November 1940. This is the description for the photograph shown at the Virtual Bralorne Pioneer Museum from British Columbia, Canada. Do you see anything, which looks out of place?

Knowing that I have a propensity for the unusual, a friend sent me this photo. I must admit to being intrigued enough to Google the snapshot. The man, who sports an up-to-date hairstyle, appears to be wearing modern sunglasses and clothing. Is the photo evidence of time travel? Some seem to think so.

Upon closer examination, however, there’s simply nothing in the photograph that cannot be explained. While the hairdo looks recent, the styling wasn’t unheard of during the era. I believe James Cagney wore his hair like that. The sunglasses look like Ray-bans, but according to Internet sources, similar shades were available in the 1940’s.

Kindles to the left of me, Nooks to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with… The times they are a changing. Some new devices are obsolete as soon as they reach the public. Kind of like overused author, marketing ploys.

Not long ago, I packed up my little red Neon, happily anticipating my part in overpopulating just such an event, and hit the road, on my way to a book festival. As I pulled out of the parking lot of a convenience store, dining on a sausage biscuit and a cappuccino, my typical entourage began to appear. Is it possible for someone to develop an imagination leak and have pieces of it seep out to become real? Einstein might well have developed a theory on that. A man wearing a black leather jacket drove past me on a pink scooter. I mean come on. Not even Arnold Schwarzenegger could pull off looking macho on such a ride. To make matters worse, he was brushing his teeth, with a real toothbrush. Don’t ask. It only gets better. An elderly lady, punching the air, like a boxer in training, ran alongside of him. I mean, whose she going to fight? Hmm… Do I see a Mike Tyson tune up on the horizon?

Those of you, who follow me on Facebook, know about my recent steam-releasing associated with automobile repair expenditures. In truth, there is a lot more to it than cars. If you can visualize magma buildup in a volcano, that might get you closer to the situation.

However, with impeccable timing, a few days after my little red, money pit blew a timing belt my copy of Asbury Tidings came in the mail. As usual, I found comfort within the pages. But there was one article in particular that lifted my spirits. John C. Westervelt, an 82 year old member of Asbury, had been going through his filing cabinets when he ran across a letter from his mother. It was dated February 18, 1951 and was addressed to John C. Westervelt USN, USS Henry W Tucker. John decided to write an article about it for the Tidings magazine. I won’t reproduce the entire article, but John had written his mother expressing his concerns over the war – The Korean War – and his apprehensions as to what might happen. I hope you find her response -- again related only in part -- as uplifting as I did.