The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, September 18, 2008

See Ya Next Month

by Tricia Dower

By the time you read this post, Colin and I will have begun our Great Train Adventure. This morning, we’re catching the ferry to Seattle, and tomorrow we’ll board Amtrak for a trek across the US making two stops along the way to visit son Mike, daughter Katie and their families.

We’ll end up in my hometown of Rahway, New Jersey, where I’ll be holding the US launch of Silent Girl at the Union County Performing Arts Center: the old movie theater where necking in the balcony was what you did on a Saturday night. It’s gussied up now and a haven for stars you might not have known were still alive. Engelburt Humperdinck appears the day after me, and Connie Francis will be there soon. Actually, I won’t be on the stage like they will. My reading takes place in a room called the Annex, perhaps the old office where they stored the Willow pattern dishes my mother collected.

My October 2nd reading is, serendipitously, part of the kick off of an all-class high school reunion in honour of Rahway’s 150th anniversary of incorporation. It’s also part of the Rahway Arts Council monthly “1st Thursdays,” when artists exhibit their work, musicians perform, and authors read at a variety of venues in town to which Rahway provides a free shuttle.

I expect a good turnout of the old gang, including “Foot” and “Hamhead,” plus a number of grads from other classes. I attended a reunion six years ago, so I’m prepared for the grey and balding heads, the paunches, jowls, and wrinkles. (Are they prepared for me?) I wonder if they’ll enjoy a nostalgic moment when I read from the two stories I imagined taking place in Rahway.

I invited Andrea Hollander Budy, an accomplished poet and fellow grad, to read with me. With the addition of her moving work, and the Rahway Arts Council’s promise of some great refreshments, it should be a wonderful evening. (It’s hard to get my head around my little town having an Arts Council. The artistic highlight of my formative years was the annual Hallowe’en painting of store windows.)

I’ll try to post a blog from time to time during the Great Train Adventure, although Amtrak doesn’t have Wi-Fi so my ability to do so might be limited. Rest assured, I’ll be thinking of stories to share with you whenever I can.

Photo: The Union County Performing Arts Center on Irving Street, Rahway, site of the US launch of Silent Girl on October 2, 2008. Readings from 6:15 – 7:00 p.m. and 7:15 – 8:00 p.m. If you’re in the neighbourhood, drop in!

6 Comments:

Blogger Anne said...

Engelburt Humperdinck? I can't believe it!

p.s. Have a great trip!

Thu Sep 18, 09:47:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

What an adventure? Can't wait to hear all about it!

Thu Sep 18, 11:56:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger T. Lee said...

Happy Trails! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

Thu Sep 18, 08:06:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Hey, thank, you three. I'm sitting in my nephew's living room in Seattle after he and Colin and I attended a cooking class with a bunch of other folks, fixing ourselves an Italian meal that will set my diet back for weeks. Great fun, though, as was the catamaran ferry ride at 30 knots over here. So far so good.

Fri Sep 19, 12:35:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Have a great trip! I've always wanted to travel by train in North America, so I'm a bit envious.

Fri Sep 19, 04:47:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Steve. We're in Minneapolis now having survived sleeping and walking around in the train. The scenery was great and we were well taken care of. More on Thursday.

Sun Sep 21, 03:59:00 pm GMT-4  

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