This is my friend, Henry Winkler. He was a childhood friend...via the television. We spent a LOT of time together...via the television. He taught me a LOT about life...(say it with me) via the television.
And here he is on Friday night:
This is the third or fourth book reading I've been to - Henry's was the best big name we've had come through, someone who everyone knows-not just readers. But he was also the worst, because he only spoke for 14 minutes. Literally, FOURTEEN minutes. And then he opened it up to questions to the audience, calling on the kids there first (he was promoting his childrens series). One little boy asked this question: "Have you ever been on tv?" And we all laughed and I suspect Henry felt it was a posed question, as he just went on to the next after the laughter stopped.
He's only 5'6 - so he stood on a chair to talk!
He read a short book from his latest book...and then that was it. He was ready to sign books 30 minutes from the start time. Whoa....what? 30 minutes total? The authors usually spend an hour talking or reading or answering questions.
Some of us had been there 60 minutes beforehand. Some people had been there 90-120 minutes beforehand. And all you can do is speak for 30 minutes? Ugh...not cool.
And then there were the rules: Only two books would be signed. The books must be from his current childrens series. Nothing else would be signed at all. No personal inscriptions at all-he was only signing his name. No personal photos would be taken-not even of you standing next to him as he sat there signing. Nothing. You could take a picture of him at the table, that was it. No questions at the book signing table. No fun. No laughter. (those last two were implied, not directly stated)
Anyway, it was interesting to hear/see him. He had a really powerful message to us all: Never give up. Even when you fail, you just keep on trying. (he said it better than I just did)
He's done a LOT in his lifetime. He comes from parents who won no parenting awards. He told us that his parents used to call him Dumb Dog. They didn't expect much of him. He is well educated but doesn't consider himself to be that smart. He has a strong determination and even when something goes wrong or just doesn't work out for him, he just keeps going. I didn't realize that he actually produced MacGyver and Sabrina the Teenaged Witch - among the other gazillion things he's done in life.
This was the scene at his book reading.
Interesting note about that lady in the bottom right of the picture - she dated Henry Winkler in college. Her husband told me the story when he was saving their seats. He said, She hasn't talked to him for 34 years, but I hope she doesn't feel like she made the wrong choice....
He was adorable.
And this is the scene of me and my friend Amy in the book store. Look at how I am positively glowing!