The Elmore Leonard Experience

Elmore Leonard was in Cleveland last night as part of a fundraiser for the Cuyahoga County Public Library. It was a little bit of an Inside the Actors Studio approach, with "Minister of Culture/Patricia Heaton's Brother" Michael Heaton asking the questions. (Nothing about favorite curse words or what you would say to God, though.)

Afterwards, Dutch signed books in the lobby, which is where the following photos come from. I'm sure Mary Lu will be thrilled to find out that I cropped myself out of the photo and left her in it, ha ha. Then again, she rarely reads this, so how's she going to know?

I've been a fan of his for a while, but only of the crime/contemporary novels, not the Westerns. The movies based on the books can be hit or miss, but the books are pretty uniformly great. (Oh, and remember when they made a TV show out of Maximum Bob? I think it was on ABC one summer. Beau Bridges was the title character, and the whole thing was hi-larious and relatively true to the novel. I wonder it that's out on DVD anywhere. . . .)

Given that my apartment is such a mess, however, and that I had a relatively crazed week lately, I didn't dig out my old paperbacks/hardbacks and bring a giant bag of vintage items for him to autograph. I just bought the new one (using my new Barnes & Noble frequent shopper card!) at the table in the lobby and had him sign that. Mary Lu managed to find a few of her old paperbacks and bring them, though. That's what he's signing in the first two shots, as I'm holding up the new book. Mine is the one with the pink post-it on it, and then the last shot is one I took as he was signing the book of another person in our group.

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Another fun fact? I saw the mom of the guy who hosted Pub Quiz at Brendan's. It took me a minute to recognize her, and, of course, she had no idea who I was, but we lamented the loss of the bar for a few moments. She was especially ticked because she didn't know in advance that it was the last one. She already planned to do silly tie night this month, but next month was going to be crazy hats, and I think she had other embarrassing-to-Mike-D things up her sleeve if she knew it was the last one ever.
Then I had to explain to some other people in my group how I knew her, because they know her from work. Then it turns out that they went to Pub Quiz a lot too, as The Book Bags. (Thankfully, not Team 11!) They couldn't believe that we never saw each other there, but once I explained that we usually picked our spot based on its proximity to the Hot Bartender, they understood. Watching him work was never a priority for them, so they ended up in the back or the corner a lot. Mystery solved!

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