I attended an event at the Battenkill Bookstore on Main Street in Cambridge on Friday night. There I met my new friend, Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of BIRDS of a LESSER PARADISE.
I was a little late, so I missed Connie Brooks introduction of the author. Connie is the proprietor of the best little independent bookstore in the world. Or at least in my world. And judging by the size of the crowd….people came from communities not only in Washington County, N.Y., but also from nearby Vermont.
So there was this young, pretty woman wearing a lovely bright green dress. She started reading one of the short stories from her book. She was easy to listen to. I could see the pictures in my head. I love to read with my own eyes and the inflections in my own mind, but Megan, unlike some authors who read their own work, was easy to follow. Half way through the story, she stopped reading. The audience wanted her to continue, I silently rooted for her to stop. I’m glad she did. She sold many books that night. I bought one. I can’t wait to finish the story. And the others in the book. As she signed the book I bought, Megan, said, “Let me know what you think of it when you read it”. That’s when she became my friend. One of her stories was selected for The Best American Short Stories (2011). And she sincerely asked for my opinion. I have added her to my tribe. Along with booksellers Connie Brooks and Kate, and author, Jon Katz, and his wife, the artist Maria Wulf: all there to support a new local author.
Just another of the many reasons I love living in Cambridge, NY. We support creativity and our community abounds with it. Come and see. But not too many of you. Oh, please, not too many of you. That would spoil the intimacy of friendships made on the spot. I salute my new friend, Megan. I will finish that story she was reading on friday night at the bookstore. And I will read all the others in the book. And then I will write to her at mayhewbergman.com. Because that’s what friends do for each other. Welcome to my tribe, friend.
Jacket design by Gabrielle Wilson; Jacket illustration: The Whit Owl, Hand-colored engraving from Eleazar Albin’s A Natural History of Birds, 1731-38. Printed in the U.S.A. copyright 2012 Simon & Schuster.