Monday, October 26, 2009

Author Extravaganza and Grafton Night Life

The Author Extravaganza (don't you love that name?) at the Bridgeport Library was an interesting event. Each participating author had a table to display (and hopefully sell) their work. Each author also was given a 30-minute time slot to present, read, interpret, etc from their work. The library staff obviously gave much thought to the event, decorating tables, making food and beverages, planning the schedule, inviting media and promoting to library patrons. Turnout was good for a first-time event. I was so busy I took only one photo:

This is Debra Conner, portraying a History Alive personality. The audience was larger than the photo shows, and Ms. Conner's presentation was done very well.

Larry snapped this shot of Terry McNemar, president of West Virginia Writers, Inc. (of which I am a card-carrying member) and me as we were deep in discussion. There were children's activities and presenters all day too.
My presentation was at 3pm and I knew I needed to leave around 4 to get to Grafton and be prepared for the evening storytelling event. As we were preparing to pack up a few people asked me to wait--they wanted to buy something! I'd sold only one CD all day, not surprising given the economy; no one else was selling much either, it seemed, except for the two children's authors. So of course I waited and by the end of 30 minutes I'd sold quite a few items. Nice!
The storytelling at Tygart Lake was for a fundraiser for the Tygart Lake State Park Foundation. I was the first event, to be followed by a Haunted Hayride sponsored by the Grafton Fire Department and then refreshments. Since it threatened rain, I was inside the rec center. There was an overflow crowd when I arrived and people kept coming. It got so crowded that many stood outside and listened. I'd say the event was a huge success, and I hope they do it again next year (and invite me!). I have no photos because I had the camera up front and Larry was in the back and there was no way to get to him. One of my biggest pleasures of the day was meeting a man who reads this blog every day, and his friend. They were interesting people and I hope we cross paths again.
I sold a few CDs and gave away a few of he leftover advance copies I'd made for the Book Festival to a few of the children who were there. Some of them had heard me earlier in the week at the WV Storytelling Festival at Jackson's Mill. This time, they heard ghost stories! I was glad to have a chance to try out a new story and a new ballad, The Cruel Ship's Carpenter.
After storytelling we made our way to the Grafton 1-2-3 to meet son #4, Aaron, and his family for some live music and conversation. The food at the 1-2-3 is excellent--the bread is homemade and the coffee is the best I have had anywhere, including Seattle. It was good to see owner MK and her family again too.
Michaela had her 7th birthday party earlier in the day, a Princess Party; she and Jaime were both pretty tired but I am glad we were able to get together.
When we left the 1-2-3, I snapped a photo of the exterior and my, my do we have orbs! Grafton haunted, you think? Those who believe in orbs would certainly argue in favor of that.



As we left, I told Larry I wanted to take photos of the trainyard at night. Grafton was in its day a railroad hub and was significant in the Civil War. The trainyard is still in use, and at night it's a ghostly place. But as we pulled down the hill, a colorful local guy asked if we could aim our lights on the painted wall so he could make out who painted it. We talked with him and I took a few photos of the wall too--it's quite a sight. Apparently there had been a decrepit building on the site and it was torn down, exposing the old logos on the wall.




We went down an alley, turned this corner,
and there were the trains, steam rising from them into the darkness. (more orbs, you'll notice)



Tomorrow I'll post about our trip home, and we'll talk about ghosts. This train kinda looks like a ghost train actually....

5 comments:

Tink said...

I feel that we will certainly cross paths again,hopefully!!! I do read your blog every day,and it was indeed a pleasure to meet you and Larry. enjoyed the Tell most well!! I introduced myself as Don but 99.9% of people know me as Tink. Nice that you liked Grafton.

Susan at Stony River said...

What a day -- and Happy Birthday to Michaela; I would love a princess party!

I took a lot of photos of Grafton going through it; it does look a bit forlorn in spots and we wanted to go back. Time ran out however; so it's on the list for next time.

Granny Sue said...

Tink, I love the nickname. Grafton sticks with me after I leave there. Like Sistersville, it's one of those West Virginia towns that ooze history. And ghosts, I think...

I am glad you got to see Grafton while you were here, Susan. 8 years ago it was forlorn indeed, but there is a group in the town that is committed to bringing it back, and they've made great strides. I am so glad, because I think the architecture is well worth saving and the town's history is colorful and nowadays marketable.

I'd want a princess party too! I can't imagine having something like that when I was young. The photos of it are adorable. Very creative ideas and not expensive. the little ones came dressed as princesses, they made crowns and wands and played a version of hot potato called Poison Apple. Wish I could have been two places at once. It was also my late father's birthday, so he was on my mind all day. An emotion-packed day as well as a busy one.

Anita said...

I believe in the orbs. Last year on Halloween night, my son and I took several pictures at the graveyard next to Glenville State College. I believe if they were bugs, they would have shown up in all the pictures. But they didn't.

I hope to make it to Grafton 1-2-3 someday. I enjoyed reading their blog during the remodel. My husbands relatives live there so I have no excuse! I'll stop in the next time we're in Grafton.

Jaime said...

We had so much fun with you and Larry on Saturday. I want to do that again soon.

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