Friday morning just a week before Christmas, I got up early, packed up my car with books and posters, easel and business cards and peppermints and white cloth for the table, signing pens, lots of those, and faced the day with as big a smile as I could manage with the stress of a book signing that awaited. I do love book signings, but they stress me out! However, I knew this one was going to be fun. My friends showed up for me, supported my sales, and stayed for the duration. I got there before eight and set right in to sign loads of my third published book, Isaac's House, and even some of The Mississippi Boys. I signed books for three hours, pausing only at any given moment, leaving my station to hop around from one to the other.
A great big THANK YOU to Tim, General Manager of Panera Bread Trinity, who made it all possible. He and his staff were so gracious to us. We crowded in there, bombarded those people, ordered food, and hopefully made his day! Thanks, again, Tim, for prime time and beautiful window space you gave us and the free coffee for everyone who purchased a book! You guys are the talk of the town for great food, great service, and outstanding customer care.
And to my wonderful friend, Dale Caperell, the best photographer in the country. (Dale's on the right, cause that's my hubs on the left!) Dale made my posters, took all of these shots, and what's so special, he took the author photograph for my book. Dale has published two picture books, of which he gave me the privilege of writing the captions and articles. Take a look at Southern2 .
I do love my friends! These are very special people, a unique group. For the most part, early morning coffeebreakers at Panera Bread. We have known each other for over two years and the camaraderie in that coffee shop is beyond mention. There is nothing these people wouldn't do for you. We're from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, lots of retired American Patriots from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars, all decked out in their special caps and tee-shirts and jackets. We love our veterans, and yes, we give Master Chief Petty Officer Retired Salvatore (Sam) Triassi his seat when he comes in the door. Well, that is after he says, "Move over!" Ginny, his lovely wife in the pink jacket, is retired from the medical profession and is multi-talented herself. That's Gert by me. That lady is something else. Of the jet set, she gets to Jersey to see those kids as often as possible.
Guess Who? I had to close my eyes!
Aggie and Gert in the windows. And Dr. Wayne, our resident retired physician, so pleasant, calm and laid back. Beside him is our George, retired Navy, Korean War veteran, best tuba player in the county. He makes us all smile. And our latest and greatest friend, Colonel Andy (retired) and loving his new-found friends. And, of course, the hat belongs to Sam. And that's his seat, mind!
Mario! New Yorker and a gentleman!
Hubs arrives! He's my joy, such a handsome man.
Arnie. A spiritual giant! I love our talks.
That's not coffee in his cup. It's something green!
Dominick! NYPD retired. Harley Rider and a great friend.
My gorgeous daughter, Angie. Such a great supporter!
Wesley. A brand new friend from Manatee County.
He drove the distance.
Beautiful Lois. She brought me flowers.
Such a doll! She just retired from Panera. We miss her every day!
Sweet Nancy in the background. Love that
Nancy! She takes care of all of us.
Nancy! She takes care of all of us.
The Infamous Angie Boot!
No signing would be complete without it.
These friends are a big part of my life now. We spend the fist couple of hours together every day, and when one is missing ... well, we have to give an account as to our whereabouts. Or we just ask George. He knows the schedules.
Thank you, my friends, for supporting my books and for giving me a first and fantastic signing for ISAAC'S HOUSE!
I am richly blessed!
Jane Bennett Gaddy