Ketchum, If You Can

I just spent a few days in the Rockies of Idaho, in a snow-globe deep-freeze sun drenched valley thousands of feet above sea level. I had been asked to read from my new book by the Ketchum Community Library.

This came to pass because Sabina Dana Plasse, currently Arts & Events editor of the Idaho Mountain Express, brought my book to the powers that be at the library and they extended an invitation. My ego was tickled pink and I accepted and ever since, for the past couple months, I have lived suspended in a state of excitement and terror.

Dana and I met 10 years ago when we were both struggling. We wanted to be writers but met mostly with obstacles and legions of naysayers. We lost touch and now, a decade later and thanks to the possibilities of social networking, we have reconnected.

The town of Ketchum is fairy tale Cowboy. My second day I did the reading at the very magnificent 5 star hotel ski lodge of a library with a roaring fire and cathedral ceilings of sultry dark beams. As if by some extraordinary tumble into another dimension I watched myself striding toward a podium in front of a roomful of seated, expectant, complete strangers. I looked at the faces looking right at me and I figured I must be dreaming because I would never have the guts to do such a thing as this.

Instead of freezing, as I’d expected, I got totally carried away and told stories and chatted on and on and then when I realized I must have abused a good chunk of time I said, “Ok, that’s probably enough about me, if anyone has any questions?”

No one said anything. All these faces stared at me, no one uttering a word. And then it dawned on me, I had forgotten to read from my book. I asked if I should, and someone called out, “Yes, read a story!” So I did, and then the forgiving and tolerant audience effervesced with questions and all of us were soon sharing some laughs.

From the library a group of us stopped in at a restaurant and then wound down at Grumpy’s, a bar as tiny as a train carriage and eccentric like a carnival barker’s caravan.

I’ll be happy for an excuse to go back. I say Ketchum, if you can.