>From St Louis


This is a day off, or at least a day of only travel. We will drive to Evanston IL with a stop on the way to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in Oak Park. If John gets back in time from the Firestone shop in Crestwood, down the road from our Best Western in Kirkwood. Have you ever changed the oil in a rental car? After about 7000 miles we decided it might be time. I am organizing in his absence: s Sending off photos to some of the nice people we’ve met on the road. Filling the water bottles with ice water. Clearing out miles of old emails. Wishing there was a place to get a pedicure in this HUGE mall where we are staying. Catching up on the blog. Trying to remember where we were two nights ago. IOWA CITY! Remember that movie, IF IT’S TUESDAY IT MUST BE BELGIUM? About a European bus tour? Well I’ve reached that point, where I have to check my blog to see where we were. I guess it’s time to head home. And look on the map-we’re on the home stretch for sure.

I have been nostalgic about home for the past few days. Cornell College area made me think of our house in New York State. And yesterday we chose to drive Rte 79 from Hannibal along the Mississippi.We saw corn fields flooded, which should have warned us that the road might be closed.

At least we got a glimpse of the Might Mississippi before we turned back. Better to have the view blocked by branches and leaves than the bridge barrier, eh?

Okay, the Hudson isn’t the Mississippi but the deep green, the rolling hills, and the crazy sound of cicadas made me think of Summer in Dutchess Co. We were foiled in our plans to follow the River road, but the detour was great. After weeks of the Interstate, it’s a joy to ride the backroads.

We got to the hotel in plenty of time. I blogged (three days!) and John slept. We started a Scrabble game and all of a sudden-time to meet Nikki Furrer from Puddn’Head Books! We scrambled and for the very first time our GPS Magellan, known in our car as “Madge”, completely screwed up. We arrived 45 minutes late to meet Nikki which is only bad because if he had arrived on time we would have had 45 minutes more fun.

That’s Nikki, owner of Puddn’Head Books, trying to hide on the back patio of the Royale. It was really interesting to talk to her about starting a new bookstore in her home town. How can the Independent Bookstore be dead when people like Nikki are opening new stores with energy and love?

The Royale is Steve’s. It’s a cool place and i could happily have lingered here. Bit of New Orleans on Kingshighway, St. Louis. Try the catfish tacos.

I realized why Nikki was cool about leaving the Royale with only a few minutes to spare before the reading. First, she is cool, and second because CinemaSt Louiswas co-sponsoring the event, and Nikki’s colleague was all set up to help people buy books.

Somehow we lost track of the fact that the even would not be at the store. So we never saw it. Here’s the link.www.puddnheadbooks.com

When we pulled into Webster College, we recognized it from our visit to St. Louis with HONEYDRIPPER a few years ago. It’s a great room, and it’s fun to be back.

John read the baseball chapter again, and it went well in this baseball town. I could kick myself for not taking a “safety” of Karyn Kusama’s parents, our loyal St. Louis fans.

If the Kusamas will forgive me for the jiggle, I hope you will too. Many thanks to Steve and Nikki and Cinema St. Louis for a great evening.

Short but sweet.

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