My newest book, "The Art of Being Cool", which takes place in the 50s, has its teenage characters spending a great deal of their time "hangin' out" at Louie's Pizza in Woburn, Massachusetts. It was only natural to have the release of the book's first "signing" in Louie's Pizza!
Well readers, my wife and I left San Antonio, Texas on the 15th of May to fly back to my hometown of Woburn, Massachusetts in preparation of my first booksigning event for the release of my latest novel:“The Art of Being Cool”.And let me tell all of you… it was simply outstanding!
If you’ve already read about “Being cool” here on my website then you know the book is loosely based on my life growing up in the 50s in an Italian neighborhood, and hangin’ out at Louie’s Pizza.The book’s front cover has a picture of Louie’s with a hot rod parked right in front which is actually how it was “back in the day”.
I must admit I was very nervous all Friday night in anticipation of the event on the following day in Louie’s.My 87-year-old mother insured me that because of all the phone calls she received since the signing’s announcement in the “Woburn Daily Times Chronicle - the local newspaper - she was certain it would be successful.However I sort of put that remark aside, attributing it to a “mother’s love” for her children.You’d think that after all these years I should have known better, right?
My wife and I left ma’s house at on the afternoon of Saturday, the 16th of May, and drove the half-mile to Louie’s Pizza with a truck-load of books for the event.The signing was announced to begin at and end at … three-whole-hours of sitting and hoping to sell a few books.Anyway, we parked in front of Louie’s at right around and began unloading cases of books.As we pulled up to Louie’s I had noticed a string of parked vehicles along the side street, but paid no attention to them, whatsoever.Biiiig mistake, folks!
Once inside, I noticed my beautiful sister Angela anxiously waiting there.
“Are you gonna start right now, Joey?” she asked.
“As soon as we get the books set up on a table, Angela,” I replied.
“Okay.I better go outside and tell everyone.”
I had no idea what she was talking about… so I asked.“Who’s… everyone?”
She stopped at the door and turned to me.“All the people parked outside.They’ve been waiting since !”And out the door went my sister Angela.
Within the next few minutes there were no less than thirty people standing inside Louie’s scrambling to purchase a signed book.Being the typical Italians they were, the “talking level” within Louie’s raised above the decibels registered at LoganAirport in Boston!It-was-absolutely-wonderful to hear.And they kept on coming and coming and coming.
I saw people I haven’t seen since I graduated high school in 1961.People from the neighborhood, old schoolmates, friends, etc..As a matter-of-fact, there were also a few great surprises, also.One of the primary characters in the book came all the way from California.Another came from Maine.And most surprising were two very, very special people that showed up.Charlie Barr and “Vince” Vincelette, two old friends I met at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam in 1971, and haven’t seen or heard from since I left Nam.Talk about a complete shock!
The great thing about the event was many of the people that came hadn’t seen each other since high school.The stories were flying all over the place which raised the decibel level even higher.And people were purchasing two and three copies of my book.One individual purchased six books, saying he wanted his grandchildren to read about the 50s.
In the end, the book signing was great - I sold over a hundred books - and got to see friends from my past together again.I cannot remember when I’ve had such a great time while working!