National Black Book Festival


Friday, October 11, 2013

Black Kindle - Vacation is over, Bah Humbug!!!


Before I arrived in Fredericksburg, I got a call about the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.  They did not have all of the details at the time, but we had family and friends working there and they were wondering if I had heard from any of them.  Sorry, I’m still on the road and there’s nothing I can do until I get home.
That phone call unnerved me a bit, so I started praying that no one close to me would be hurt.  A woman I had known for a long time was killed.  What the hell are we thinking sometimes, what the hell?!  Even crazier was a few days later, they showed on TV the Jackass 15 to 20 minutes before he started shooting in the hall way.  Damn, no one saw that?

I’m spent, back to my story.  Drove by more stores, more new homes and more Wal-Marts and Targets.  Where are these people coming from? And there it was…didn’t noticed it until I got closer to DC. The HOV lane is being extended from the Mixing Bowl (the mystified 495/395 five lanes of hell on wheel connection between DC, Maryland, and Virginia) all the way down to Richmond, Virginia.  OMG!!! The traffic. Billions and billions of cockroaches (cars) with overpowering-stressed-drug-induced-out of control speed demons heading to some place.  Jesus, how do they do it every day?
The madness of speed, loud music, newer and taller buildings, the surreal increase in population was immense.  Damn, do I miss home, though!  Such craziness and such an overwhelming need to rush from one place to another.  There were short, very short, and tight skirts on men and women.  Pink, blue, and green hair.  Seriously overweight women (for a minute I thought I was back in South Carolina).  The old black neighborhoods, especially the ones I grew up in, are turning into white, semi-wealthy neighborhoods with overpriced and refurbished houses.  Example: A white women walking or jogging with baby in carriage…seriously?  Restaurants and stores are catering to the elite with sushi, organic beer and other exotic foods on “H” street.  I really miss my original home, but I knew things would change, I just hoped it would change for the better.  It has in a way, just not in some areas.
But, boy do I miss home!!!
With the traffic, loud noise, overpriced homes, and undersexed or oversexed people (depending upon your view), clothes and food, I still love it!!!! I love my home and always will.  I have to come home periodically and breathe the spirit of the life I had with my grandmother - The love of my “Chocolate City,” with it’s libraries and great, magnificent books is incomparable.   
Photo: Waiting in line with over 75 people to get my book signed.  Life is Blessed!!!
After a few days of shopping, eating, drinking, hanging out with my kid, friends, and family, it was time to get ready for the Library of Congress’s 13th Annual National Book Festival on the Mall. My Friend, Sheryl, her son, my kid and I all attended the first day on the Festival on Saturday.  We walked around, got a lot of free stuff and some overpriced T-Shirts and food.  There were tents for each type of literary genre from fiction to children. There were thousands of people to see Veronica Roth, author of the DIVERGENT series (I‘m reading the first one and so far it’s great).  Terry McMillan, Margaret Atwood, Justin Cronin (The Passage and The Twelve), Khaled Hosseini were also big hits.  

Photo: Terry McMillan. - National Book Festival

There were over 100 people standing in line for Hosseini’s autograph.  While I stood in line to get Terry McMillan’s autographed, my kid stood in Mr. Hosseini’s line.  It was a long wait, but it was worth it to see them and take pictures.  There were so many authors both days.  There was a torrential rain pour Saturday, but we had just managed to get to the parking lot before we got caught in it.  That did not stop the festival though.

Photo: Terry McMillan

It is one of the best highlights of my life to attend this event other than being at home and hanging out with my kid.  She has the same love for books as I do and I love her for that. 

Well, after a week and half of DC, I knew I had to get back to both jobs.  Was it worth it? Damn skippy, whippy it was!  I’m in love again with my home.  My home.