Got to have some butt-kickin-chicken earlier tonight while listenin' to a variety of small groups playing and singing bluegrass music. Yep, I was at a small-town wingding to bring folks together and raise a little money for the community center. (Small town = population of 85 within the metropolitan limits - I kid you not!)
But there are some great people who live in and around Ranger, and I had a really good time. And I have to say, I was really pleasantly surprised. While carrying my stuff into the building (folding table, boxes of books, etc.) I was asked by a teenager if I wanted any help, and he called me "sir!" It gave me a good feeling. And AFTERWARD when I was carrying the aforementioned stuff OUT of the building, a different teenager did the same thing, also with the same amount of respect! I smiled all the way home. As a one-time high school teacher, I sometimes despair of manners in adolescents, but this was a real encouragement!
Oh, and I got to sign and sell five books. Not a lot of books, you say. Well, true, but it's five more people who will read my work and possibly buy MORE of my work. It's five more books than I would have sold sitting on my duff at home. It's at least twenty more people who came up and looked at my table, had a discussion with me, and were surprised to know that we have (1) an author locally and (2) a publishing house located in the area. I think I'll get more than five book sales from the whole thing, truthfully.
Oh, and the bluegrass! I really like good pickin'. I'm not as fond of the twangy singing, but the guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass fiddle really get me going. And I got to observe, for the very first time, an actual cakewalk. How many of you have used the expression, or have seen it: "It's not a cakewalk!" Well, I've seen the expression many times, but never the root of it until tonight.
Met a very interesting fellow, Ken Conner, who is the pastor of a local Baptist church. He has an earned doctorate, and his hobby is creating beautiful handmade knives. Gorgeous pieces, lovingly prepared. We had a nice time talking about knifemaking, his time at The Bodleian Library while on a research grant at Oxford, and then his trip down the Nile to further his research.
One more great thing: No charge for the table space, no charge for the music. $6 for the plate with a HUGE piece of barbecued chicken, baked beans, french bread, chips, drink and a slice of cake. Can't beat that, either! YUMMY.