Joyce Hinnefeld


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recent Travels, Sad News

I’m just back from a brief trip to Kentucky and Indiana, which included two book events and some nice time visiting with family members. On Thursday I had a wonderful dinner with one of my all-time favorite college professors, Jon Smith, from Hanover College, along with his wife Stephanie. We met at a restaurant in the lovely Crescent Hill section of Louisville, and Stephanie informed me that I should be pleased that we were NOT sitting on one of the restaurant’s banquettes. (There’s an interesting story involving the University of Louisville basketball coach and that restaurant--but I think you have to understand the significance of basketball in that part of the country to appreciate it.) A few doors down from the restaurant, on Frankfort Avenue, is a fine independent bookstore, Carmichael’s Books, and I had a great time reading from and talking about the writing of Stranger Here Below there. In the audience were two more of my all-time favorite college professors from Hanover: Jim Ferguson and Ruth Turner.

On Friday evening I had a tour of downtown Columbus, Indiana, provided by my cousin Sharon Baldwin. This included a stop in another wonderful independent bookstore, Viewpoint Books, some fine Korean food at Columbus’s Ethnic Expo, and delicious homemade ice cream at the beautifully restored Zaharako’s. Columbus boasts some really wonderful contemporary architecture--and also Sharon’s fantastic book group (Thirty-plus years and still going strong! And I got to meet two more of the members at my talk that evening). I so enjoyed the people I met at the Partners in Education talk I gave that evening in Columbus--some wonderfully outspoken folks with wide-ranging interests, all of them very seriously engaged with their writing. Thanks to Warren Baumgart, of the Columbus Arts Council, for taking over the organizing of this event, after the untimely death of Sharon’s dear friend Joan Pearcy last summer.

Back home late Sunday, and then yesterday the sad news of another untimely death, that of Carla Cohen, founder of Washington’s Politics & Prose. Carla was an early champion of my novel In Hovering Flight, and she invited me to the store two years ago. I am grateful to have known her, and very sad that I won’t see her again this Saturday, when I’ll be back at Politics & Prose.

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