A few years ago, I trekked from York to Washington D.C. For the National Press Club’s annual book fair.
I brought Michael with me. He was just a toddler, but there was a chance we’d meet John Lewis, the civil rights icon. We did. We also met Bill Richardson, Doc Gooden and a few other celebrities. Gooden signed his book for us. The highlight, though, was seeing Lewis. He arrived late, but signed everyone’s books. He even tickled Michael. Someone who marched with Marin Luther King, was awarded a Medal of Freedom, bled for our country tickled him.
The fair is amazing because they have a couple dozen authors, several of whom are well known newsmakers and such, but the crowd isn’t crazy. So you really get to mingle with people.
I promised myself I’d return.
So on Friday, Molly, the kids, my mother in law and I made the trip from Wilkes-Barre.
It was a thrill for me to meet Bob Schieffer, who I remember watching with my grandmother as a kid.
Minnie asked Schieffer who his favorite president to interview was. He told her Jerry Ford. I think she was hoping for Obama or Trump because she knows them. Michael asked if he was ever afraid. He smiled and said no, because he’d been a crime reporter who covered some scary criminals.
Michael met Jesse Holland who wrote a book about Marvel’s Black Panther. Mike has a Black Panther costume so he was ecstatic. Minnie got a bunch of kids books.
We also got books by FOXnews Ed Henry and NPR’s Scott Simon about baseball.
When we arrived st the National Press Club and went in the elevator, we were quite the crowd. Behind us, stood a silver-haired woman I instantly recognized: Sally Quinn. If you don’t know who that is, she was a Washington Post columnist and the wife of legendary newsman Ben Bradlee.
I desperately wanted to tell her, “Your husband was one of my biggest heroes.” But I felt that was strange and slightly disrespectful because she’s done her own thing and made a name for herself.
Before we left, I contemplated stopping by her table and saying striking up a conversation. But it still didn’t feel right.
When we left, with our wallets much lighter, we all said how much fun we had. Despite a 4-hour drive both ways, we think we’ll go back next year. But we’re gonna stay overnight.
The biggest thrill of the evening was when we drove out of town. Michael loves the “George Washington Monument” and the Statue of Liberty. Whenever he sees pictures of them, he had to show us. As we turned a corner I told him to look out the window. I could see the wonder in his eyes as he realized what he was looking at.
So next year, we’ll be sure to see more sights.