No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Monday, December 02, 2019

“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” – Seneca


November 30, 2019

Kathy, Kali and Michael

Caitlin

Kali



“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” – Seneca

Thanksgiving week is always a busy one for us and this year seemed even more so as we returned from the weekend at the Miami Book Fair and had our friend Kali in town visiting fresh off her appearance at the Book Fair and her being named a finalist for the National Book Award last week in New York City. Kali was returning to Key West, where she lived for about a year a few years ago and a lot has changed in a good way for her since her departure.

Emily, Michael and Kali

Kali 
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Kali and Judy

She was back this week to do a reading and book signing at the Key West Library for her award winning collection of short stories “Sabrina and Corina and was staying with us for a few days before heading home to Denver for Thanksgiving. Even though we had seen Kali present at the book fair, it was great to be able to spend some quality time with her especially during what was certainly one of the most exciting and whirlwind weeks of her life. Her reading Tuesday night at the library was fantastic. A nice crowd of friends and well-wishers was on hand for what was a power packed and emotional reading.

It was the second consecutive evening of literary readings as the previous night Kathy and I joined the crowd at Books and Books at the Studios of Key West for a reading by author and film director Stephen Chbosky. He just released his second novel “Imaginary Friend”, some twenty years after his first one, which is one of my favorites, “The Perks of Being A Wallflower.” 

Stephen and Lori 

Stephen and Judy

This new book is a massive, horror story very unlike his previous effort, but still pretty awesome seemingly. His reading had a few teenage girls in the audience literally gasping in fear, which was pretty awesome. It was a great reading and a fascinating evening. Chbosky was yet another author who tacked his Key West visit onto an appearance at the Miami Book Fair. This time he said he just couldn’t say no when Judy Blume invited him down and really, who could?

 

Kathy, Stephen and Michael

Nadene and Brenda 

Thanksgiving arrived and I felt a little under the weather, I have been fighting off a cold since returning from Miami, but I rallied to attend two wonderful Thanksgiving gatherings with friends. We started at our friends Nadene and Trevor and their annual brunch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This wonderful tradition is something that both Kathy and I really love. Getting to spend time with so many good friends and celebrate the season is wonderful.

Meredith and Brenda

  Trevor

This year we were treated to a fashion show with their daughter Meredith and her friends playing dress up and showing off their wonderful costumes to the assembled crowd on hand for the feast. It is fun getting to spend time with everyone and it was a great start to our day.

 

For dinner, we were off to our friends the Fords for their annual Thanksgiving gathering. They have been kind enough to invite us to their family Thanksgiving celebration for many years and we just love going. This year there was an “apple” theme to the dinner and Kathy created a yummy Cauliflower and Apple salad. The Fords always host a great collection of their friends and family and we feel so happy to be included each year. 

  

 \ Greta and Tom

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Kathy and I are truly filled with gratitude for all the wonderful blessings we have in our lives. Our family and friends fill our lives with love and happiness and it is really a pleasure to take a moment from our hectic lives to recognize how grateful we are. Happy Thanksgiving!

  Effie and Caitlin 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Miami Book Fair


November 25, 2019



The Rock Bottom Remainders 

Carl Hiassen and Dave Barry


Miami Book Fair

The largest literary event in the country is thankfully held each year at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami and it remains one of my favorite annual events. I have been attending it now for about 30 of the 38 years that it has been held and have watched in awe and wonder as it has grown into one of the premier events of its kind held anywhere, greatly expanding from the original two day street fair model to an expansive 10 day- long celebration of the written word.



David Marannis

 


For us the fair means attending what is now a three day street fair and presentations by the more than 300 authors who attend the fair each year, which makes trying to decide which authors to go and see a difficult proposition since there are often 8-10 really amazing presentations happening at the same time.

Marc Caputo



Phil Caputo


I have always tried to share my love for the book fair with friends and there are a number of Key West residents who make the trek up each year to participate and almost always these days there are authors that I know personally making presentations throughout the weekend. My work with the Key West Literary Seminar has introduced us to so many fantastic writers, many that we call friends and many who have or will be among those represented at the fair.

Dave Barry




 
I also try and tell my friends how special it is to attend the fair and this year my friends Howard and Najada and their sons attended their first book fair, which was really cool. It was great to get the perspective of first time visitors and I forget sometimes just how massive and overwhelming that experiencing the fair can be, Because they were there with their kids, I spent more time in the wonderful Children’s Alley than ever before, which is truly a wonderful aspect of the fair that I doubt I appreciate enough.



 



What I truly love about the fair is the incredible diversity it celebrates, both with the writers that are selected as well as with the demographics that Miami provides. Miami is as wonderfully diverse and vibrant as any city in America and is a city that once drove me crazy, but that I have grown to love and appreciate as much as anyplace else in the world. It is truly a dynamic and diverse city that is getting better and better all the time and I would like to think that MDC and the Book Fair have been a part of the positive changes in the city.

 

Peter Asher


What really makes the fair special tough is the authors who are on hand to share their work with the crowds that come out to hear and see them. The written word is still enjoying a healthy lifespan if the attendance and enthusiasm of the book fair is any indication. I was able to see a number of remarkable presentations starting with one by Peter Asher, the British guitarist, singer, manager and record producer. He came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the pop music vocal duo Peter and Gordon before going on to a successful career as a manager and record producer of such acts as James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.

With Peter Asher

with Guy Picciotto

He was here promoting his new book about his time working with and being close friends with the Beatles. In keeping with a rock n roll theme, I also checked out a presentation by famed photographer Glen E. Friedman who has just rereleased an updated version of his classic book of photos of seminal punk rock band Fugazi. He gave a presentation along with Fugazi lead singer Guy Picciotto. 




We also enjoyed presentations with Phil Caputo, who was interviewed wonderfully by our friend and former Key West resident, journalist Marc Caputo, as well as Carl Hiaassen and Dave Barry and more. It was an incredible two days that we enjoyed so much. Perhaps the best part is what is becoming an annual tradition is dinner with our friends the Strunk family from Key West, while we rarely see them in Key West, they always come to the book fair and for the past couple of years we have had an amazing night out at the Bengal Indian restaurant which is a short walk from the fair. As much as enjoying famous authors is fun, spending quality time with good people is what life is really all about.



Carl Hiassen 

Scott Turow


On the way back from dinner, we were able to catch the performance by the band made up of authors known as the Rock Bottom Remainders. Fronted by the likes of Dave and Sam Barry, Carl Hiaasen, Leonard Pitts, Scott Turow and more the band “played” a collection of funny covers and this year for the first time an original tune written by Barry. They are a total hoot and so much fun to watch. Not good at all, but great nonetheless.