Modern and Retro

Well, Sunday at the Beer and Books event was a blast! Probably two dozen Minnesota, authors, mostly young, mostly self-published, selling mostly sf/fantasy and mysteries. A lot of books were sold. Even though we put up a sign saying Free Books Free, passers-by would stop and wonder what the sign meant and were sometimes reluctant to take a book. Only with both of us earnestly persuading would they take more than one of the three titles on offer. Black Stack Brewery, the site of the event, takes up the ground floor of an old manufacturer of aluminum cans. A BIG floor, scattered with tables, clusters of comfortable couches, and supplied with cards and board games. The bar is long and in front of a very large collection of brewery tanks. They offer many varieties of beer, and you can buy a cupcake pan holding small glasses of the varieties – four, six or eight flavors. The event was well run and interesting; the authors were seated at long tables taking up one end of the room in a U shape. I somehow arrived with two dollars and change in cash on me, and so couldn’t buy any of the titles that interested me. But these are modern folks, they have web sites and so I can buy them either as Kindle titles or hard copies online.  (Actually, several had that little attachment to their iPads that can run a credit card – but not the authors whose books I wanted.)

This Saturday is my church’s annual old-fashioned Corn Boil. Tickets are five dollars, an amazing bargain. On the menu are roast chicken, several varieties of baked beans (we’re donating our famous Calico Beans), salads, slaws, a great deal of boiled corn, and some kind of desert, perhaps chocolate sundae, root beer float, or strawberry shortcake. Heck of a deal. Whoops, I almost gave the name of the church, but they were asking people to buy tickets in advance, deadline last Sunday, and while they can handle some who just turn up on the day, they don’t want to be overwhelmed at the last minute and run out of food.

I like living here in the Cities, you can find extraordinarily up-to-date events and nostalgic old-fashioned ones on alternate weekends.  We’re going to miss one this Saturday we normally go to: The Antique Car Run, featuring cars that date to the late 1800s, some of them.  Stanley Steamers, REOs, Brushes, Oldsmobiles, making a 104-mile journey from New London to New Brighton.  I wrote a mystery set at the Run, A Murderous Yarn,  This will be the first Run we’ve missed in many years.

Work on Tying the Knot progresses, but slowly. Still, it progresses.

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