My book signing for Bewitched Forever transpired last night at Barnes & Noble in Rochester's Greece Ridge Center.
It went well. We sold over 30 books (which is very good for this market), 6 DVDs of Bewitched: The Complete First Season, and 4 soundtracks of the Bewitched feature film.
However, the truly great moments of the evening, is when people starting showing up from my past and freaking me out.
Top of the list - Miss Ganzini - my 8TH GRADE TEACHER!!!!!!!!!! - who I haven't seen since 1973!!
As we relished in the memories of the past, as well as the joy of the moment, I mentioned how, on the day of graduation, low those many years ago, she gifted each of her students with a quote, caligraphized in a scroll. The quote she chose for me was from Emerson, who said:
"No man an island. No man goes his way alone. Whatever we send into the lives of others, comes right back into our own."
Translation: Miss Ganzini knew I was a smart ass - and she was trying to help me. She was attempting to offer me some good advice about the laws of karma - and how we have to be careful how we act and what we say to people.
Bottom line: I'm still a smart ass - and I still open my mouth way too much than I should - but I'm all the more careful than I would have been - had not Miss Ganzini "gifted" me with that quote three decades ago.
And I told her all of that last night. Clearly, it made an impact on me - as I remembered it, and I think I've also enjoyed quoting Emerson (though I never really knew who the hell he was) all these years to make me look and sound "smart".
Another person who showed up from my past was Laura Monroe, older sister of Eva, who was one of my first crushes. I reminded Laura how Eva used to chase me around the sofa at her house to try and kiss me. And we both laughed because, of course, Eva tells the story differently. Apparently, "I" was the one who chased Eva around the sofa and tried to kiss HER.
Needless to say, seeing Laura and talking about Eva - and all of our friends from that era (growing up on Erie Street) - inspired us to plan one of two events:
I will be surprising the Monroe family on July 23rd for a picnic at their cottage on Canisious Lake (more shades of Walton's Mountain - see previous posts) - and Laura and I have decided to hold an Erie Street reunion (to include the Monroes, the Burlinghams, the Smedleys, etc.).
Can't wait for both.
Also at the signing were my good friends Jeff and Monica. We met at the wedding of a mutal friend few years ago. We hit it off immediately. It struck me that he looks like Chandler from Friends, and that her name was Monica - the same as Courtney Cox's character on Friends (who's married to Chandler). So I call them the "Bings" (TV Monica and Chandler's last name).
Anyway, Jeff and the real Monica brought their son Alec, along with their new gorgeous big-ol-blue eyed new baby Maya, who they long awaited to have in their family - via a VERY challenging and drawn-out foreign adoption process in Germany.
But all's well now. Their family is complete.
Another person who showed up last night was Jon - a former acting student of mine from RAPA (Rochester Association of the Performing Arts). He's in his early twenties now, and as I'm signing a book over to him he's telling everyone about the time I made him cry (in class, when I was pushing him too hard to live up to his potential).
And everyone else in line is like, "Oh, please - join the club. He's made me cry, too."
And I'm just sitting there, signing, with this dumb-ass smile on my face, "Well, it WAS a beautiful evening."
Then Lori showed up with her two beautiful children. Damn - another missed window for a beautiful marriage. But she never knew I was interested in her. And besides, we met when we were both working for my my friend Lou. He had a thing for her - and he told me to stay away from her. He was half-kidding, half-serious. But like an idiot, I listened to him. And I don't think I've ever told Lori that story. I will though.
Other than that, my very good friend Andrea was there (she is a talented performance artist who, with her true love of many years, Peter J. Scahill, have a popular entertainment troupe in the area), my good friend Marti and her beautiful daughter Chlohe, my sister Pam and brother-in-law Sam, and a whole list of other wonderful friends and Bewitched fans who showed up.
It was a beautiful night and for now, will go down in my personal and professional history as one of the happiest Bewitched-related events I've ever experienced.
Time "immortal". ;)