Hello my friends, old and new! What a whirlwind week. First stop, Jewish National Book Conference. 50 accomplished authors, not all Jewish btw, put in a room together with reps from 300 Jewish organizations and given 2 timed minutes to sell your wares, I mean books. Quite an experience. I have played The Kennedy Center in DC with 14 minutes notice (I spent a year understudying Jennifer Grey in a play called “Twilight of the Golds,”) and I have never been as nervous as I was sitting in that chair. But I got my first laugh and all was right with the world. As is always the case when you can make people laugh, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Next up was the Book Expo at The Jacob Javitz Center. Another first for me. Overwhelming sea of all kinds of print and digital media and people, each adorned with a plastic badge. Signing books and chatted with librarians from around the country. Heard “make it out to my husband,” more than I anticipated, many of it said with a tone of, “Jesus, maybe he’ll learn something for once.” A little scary. Highlight was a woman who walked up with the craziest concoction of string and wood and brass around her neck and I was feeling frisky so I asked, “So who do I make this out to, and I have to tell you I really admire that necklace situation you have going on.” “Necklace situation” was so undeniably accurate that even she had to laugh. I was so hungry after I ate some kind of “chicken” sandwich that tasted disturbingly like tunafish. But I would have eaten a book so I was still happy.
Sadly today I will go pay my respects to one of the funniest, Anne Meara. Loved her soul, her passion and her timing. And she was mother to my dear friend Amy, and to my friend from the early years in NYC Ben, and wife for 61 years to the lovely and kind Jerry Stiller. I am terribly sorry for their loss.
Back to LA tomorrow. Have determined that 6 days away from boys, even with my Super Dad husband stepping up so amazingly, is too many for me. Which doesn’t mean I won’t travel, but it means I have a four day limit. Staying in a wonderful peaceful home in Harlem, of which I am now a devoted fan, I had time to think about what it means when your message is connection through laughter but in spreading that message you have to leave the people you care about most in the world. What I came to is, it means you have to talk faster and get home sooner.