So let's look back a week to May 5, Cinco de Mayo, which has probably been my best day of 2009 so far. The day started with an excellent run, followed by margaritas and Mexican food at LaPaz with some of my favorite coworkers (we were not only celebrating the American tradition of consuming tequila and tacos to support Mexican Independence Day, but wishing a farewell to another coworker heading to NYC). Good start already, right?
THEN it gets good. I already knew there was a very exciting signing event going on at the Booksmith, but Tuesday nights are my required night on the desk, and you cannot imagine how bummed I was to miss it. However, knowing folks who have an "in" (ie the other booksellers still left at the Booksmith) does have it's advantages, as my dear friend Michal texted me to let me know that the author was there early and signing and she would sneak me back to meet her. So, on May 5, 2009, I met KATHRYN TUCKER WINDHAM and had my original copy of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey signed and personalized. AND she gave me a corn muffin! AND I got to ask her about ghosts and found out that her biggest regret in life so far (the woman is 90) is that she hasn't actually ever personally encountered a spirit. When I asked her, "Don't you have any trouble getting to sleep at night after spending the better part of your life sifting through ghost stories?", she replied, "Well, in all of the hundreds of ghost stories I've read, there have been only a handful that are truly evil, sinister ghosts... and that's definitely not something you can say for the people I've encountered in real life!" Touche, KTW, touche.
Anyway, so here's the inscription:
It reads For Lauren, who still likes true ghost stories. Hauntingly yours, Kathryn T. Windham and Jeffrey. May 5, 2009 (A late signing).
I also got a signed copy of her new autobiography, which I can't wait to delve into!
Ok so flash back about, oh, 17 years or so, and let's look at little Lauren. Little Lauren's mother took her and her sister to the Houston-Love Memorial Library in Dothan, Alabama, on a weekly basis... but much to my mother's confusion and disturbia, all I wanted to read were ghost stories. I went through all of the Goosebumps series and basically ANY collection of ghost stories I could get my hands on, and it all started with 13 Alabama Ghosts, which I had come across at some point. And this led to my eventual love of ALL books and reading. Natalie joined me in the scare-fest, and now, at the ages of 24 and 26, we continue to love ghost stories (and we also continue to crawl into each others' beds if needed because we can't sleep). So yes, I got to meet the woman who started it all for me. My love of reading, my penchant for all things ghostly and creepy... Can you imagine? Of course I couldn't keep my cool and staggered on a bit, but it was amazing. I was grinning from ear to ear.