August 31st, 2005 | Travels and Appearances
I’ve been working for the past six years on a graphic memoir about my father. Houghton Mifflin is publishing it in the spring, and they flew me to NYC yesterday for a meeting. I’ve quite literally been sitting in my basement working on this project since 1999, except for one day a week when I go out for necessities like groceries and therapy. So turbopropping to Manhattan was a change of pace, to say the least.
The assistant director of publicity, Whitney, and her assistant, Michael, took me to lunch at the Union Square Café. Here they are in front of the restaurant.
I had to be told that this was a very trendy destination. My lunch was lovely (see photo), but I was much more impressed by the fact that Whitney turns out to be the daughter of Clyde Peeling, of the eponymous Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland–a major local attraction in central Pennsylvania, where I grew up.
After dining, we had a meeting with the Marketing and Publicity directors. One guy attended from the Boston office via video conference. Unnervingly futuristic, but in an oddly comforting glitch, he was all out of focus. After the meeting I was whisked off in a Town Car to the photographer’s studio. Until now, I have never understood Americans’ automotive fetishism. But I could live in that leather-upholstered thing. If it weren’t a root cause of terrorism. Here I am with Greg, the photographer, on Bleecker Street.
Spent a grueling 4 hours posing for my book jacket photo, then another Town Car back to LaGuardia. It was quite a day. Now I’m in my basement again, with 34 pages of the memoir left to ink in soothing, rustic solitude.