Noble Street Festival

For a boot-strapping author like me, appearing at events like Anniston's Noble Street Festival, among all the food vendors and trinket sellers and campaigning politicians and all, can be a long day of standing, watching people mill by with hardly a glance acknowledging your presence and your work. But then a real reader walks by, and her eye catches the words on your posters. Her attention turns to the books and she moves to the table. We start a conversation. She, or someone in her family, loves to read. And she takes a chance on you when a thousand others don't. I am humbled and gratified.

Of course, I should also have been in possession of my dusty old reporter's faculties enough to jot down their names to include here. So folks, if you read this, drop me a line and let me thank you for your kindness and your willingness to take a chance on my stories.

The wind and clouds made for a brisk day in Anniston. I was placed next to a local politician whose campaign tent kept blowing against my booth, obscuring my posters, and I had to urge her crew to move back a couple times. Then again, they also crowded around in front of my booth without consideration for how they might be blocking my customers. Book lovers are a rare and precious species at events like these, whereas politicians and their gladhandees are a brassy horde.

The featured event at the Noble Street Festival is a criterium, which is a bicycle race around (and around and around) a few of the city blocks. Temperature-wise, it was probably a good day for it, though the blustering wind may have ratcheted up the level of difficulty a bit for the riders. The aroma from the food vendors (in the case of my lunch, the aroma was better than the fare) is always a treat in itself. The dogs and the kids were numerous and friendly, the atmosphere was cheerful, the cops didn't have to get called away to a shootout in Weaver (as I think I heard one of them say happened last year).

All in all, a nice way to spend the day outside. If I could only figure out a way to better tap into the often dormant love of books that people have somewhere inside them. I have to believe it's there. If you know, let me in on the secret.


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