Friday, October 06, 2017

Meeting Armistead

Wed I left DE early enough to miss most of the DC rush hour traffic.  I decided to stop at the Trader Joe's for some goodies.  That place was like pumpkin overload!!  I've never seen so many products made from or flavored with pumpkin.  But since I love 'seasonal' merchandise I picked up a box of pumpkin Joe-Joes, some pumpkin biscotti, and some pumpkin spice coffee, as well as several other non-pumpkin goodies.

Then I drove through the old neighborhood where Spouse & I 1st lived together.  The house is still there, but is cuter now that they painted the siding a soft lilac and the shutters and front door a medium lilac.  Its not everyone's taste but I thought it was adorable.  Great memories.

Then I met up with our friend Roger (of Bugsy & Roger) for an early dinner at Taco House!  The owners changed the name to Cantina Mexicana years ago but it will always be Taco House to us.  The weather was sheer perfection so I chose a patio in the shade on the patio.  We had a delicious dinner then walked to the metro.

We arrived at the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian a bit early so we sat outside and enjoy the stellar weather and the beautiful facade of the building, meant to look like a pueblo.  
 Eventually we went inside and took our seats, eagerly awaiting the lecture.

Armistead Maupin was introduced and then received a standing ovation before uttering a word.  He began by stating that this book is a memoir, but that as readers learned about the people close to him throughout his life, they'd likely see characteristics of many of the "Tales of the City" characters.  He did a short reading (probably 5-6 minutes), then spoke a bit more.  Several of his extended family were there so he introduced his 2nd reading by saying to them that they will enjoy hearing his words of appreciation about his grandmother.  The 2nd reading was probably 20 minutes in length, and then he opened up the lecture for questions from the audience.

I can't accurately describe what it was like, except to say that his calm and gentle demeanor were exactly what I expected, and that I felt so connected to him that it was as if I was listening to an old friend I hadn't seen in a while but knew well.  It was kind of magical.

He thanked everyone for coming and received a 2nd standing ovation.

We filed out of the auditorium and were directed over to where Armistead was sitting at a table for the book signing.  Roger & I waited in line for 45 minutes but it was totally worth it.  They didn't take our books from us to be signed and then wisk us away quickly.  Oh no... each person was allowed to talk with Armistead while he signed their book. Maybe because we'd paid $30 for the lecture and book signing?
I said "At the risk of sounding like a 13 year old girl, I have to tell you that I'm a huge fan.  Honestly I don't read a lot but I've read every one of your books and just love them.  Hearing you speak and meeting you now is a bucket list item for me."  He was very gracious and thanked me for my kind words.  

Then as we shook hands I said "Oh, and please don't stop writing!!"

While I absolutely love all my Armistead Maupin novels, this memoir is extra special to me because he signed it and because of the extraordinary experience of meeting him.

5 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

fangirl squeeeeeeeeeeee!

mistress maddie said...

Very cool post and what a memory you'll have. While I have never talked with him at length, I have seen him twice in town in Ptown. He seems very warm and cordial.

Ur-spo said...

I remember meeting him in the late 90s. he told quite the amusing stories.

TGA said...


Sounds like a great day. Jealous!

Fearsome Beard said...

He’s a treasure.