Monday, March 31, 2008

Pahrump postmortem

My car made it to Pahrump and back, so I’m considering Saturday’s book signing a rousing success. I also sold a few books and bought two books I’ve been wanting to buy: H. Lee Barnes’ Minimal Damage: Stories of Veterans and Geoff Schumacher’s Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue. As expected, the townsfolk were friendly. They asked questions about the books, acted interested in the subjects, and mildly criticized Las Vegas, though their disdain for the “Big City” obviously runs deep.

Overall, the drive over the hump to Pahrump and back was well worth it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A reminder

I have a book signing Saturday, March 29, in Pahrump. The signing, part of the “Author Extravaganza,” is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Pahrump Community Library (701 East St., 89048). If you have – um – business to attend to in Pahrump or you’re just looking for an excuse to road trip, drop by and say “howdy.”

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Miss you, Yo!

Why do prick politicians get 30-inch obits and sweet, honest and caring people only get an inch?

I thought about this recently, while attending a memorial service for Yolanda Smith (aka “Yo” and “Grandma Yo” and “Numero Uno”). Two other thoughts crossed my mind: There’s nothing sadder than a loving person stretched out lifeless in a wooden box; and some people should live forever.

Shortly after my book came out, I got a card from Yolanda. I called to thank her, and we ended up getting together for lunch. Immediately, I was struck by how smart, kind and funny she was. She was a real cool girl.

After our lunch, Yolanda and I kept in touch. She stopped by book signings, brought me cookies and bought books for friends and family. She mailed me cards. I’d call her and ask about her sons, bowling league and health. (She’d been fighting cancer for a few years.)

The last time we talked, Yolanda and I agreed to go to her bowling league together one Monday night at Sam’s Town. We never got the chance. A few days later, her sister called and told me she’d died.

Yolanda Smith’s obit said she was 76 years old and a homemaker. It said she’s survived by her sons, Mike, Gary and Mark. What it didn’t – and couldn’t – say was how many people she touched with her kindness, generosity and class. Too many to mention, I’m sure.

I miss you, Yo! Thanks for everything.

Going to Pahrump for a – um – book signing

According to my datebook, I have a book signing March 29 in Pahrump. So, since I don’t argue with my datebook, I guess I’ll climb into my car Saturday morning, drive over the mountains on Highway 160 and visit The Closest City to Las Vegas in Which Prostitution is Legal. The signing, part of the “Author Extravaganza,” is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Pahrump Community Library (701 East St., 89048).

If you have – um – business to attend to in Pahrump or you’re just looking for an excuse to road trip, drop by and say “howdy.”

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cats found a home

Thanks to everyone who e-mailed with suggestions for Billy and his cats. They’ve all found homes. Billy is living in public housing and volunteering at the Las Vegas zoo. The Cat Sanctuary took in three or four of his cats and a local no-kill shelter took in the others.

Activist Linda Lera-Randle El and her crew helped make all this happen. They’ve been amazing.