Tonight was the last time Jeanette and I will go see Stewart O’Nan speak before I leave for Africa. Tonight just reminded all over again about how much I like Stewart. He is a humble man. I asked him to sign one book with just his name because I was going to give it to a new friend in Ghana. “What a way to make a friend” he said “give them this long boring book!”
Tonight he talked about the circus fire in Hartford in 1944. He is very genuine. When he spoke of the people who died and the survivors it was with respect and caring. The one book committee had created a booklet of local survivors stories. Stewart had a copy of the book and as some of the interviewees came to ask him to sign he also asked them to sign. He talked to every person who wanted to talk to him. He was engaged and charming with each one.
He is funny. When Jeanette told him she was my keeper (we were talking about my uberfandom) He looked dubiously at her and said “That’s a pretty long leash!”
So I will leave for Africa with the read poster of him that I created signed by him. An advanced copy of one of my favorite O’Nans, from his personal collection and signed and his best wishes and hopes.
For librarians who’s rock stars ARE authors that’s pretty heavy stuff!