Sunday, June 18, 2017

Weekend Round-Up

It’s been 22 years since Lorna Landvik, Minneapolis entertainer, debuted as a novelist with “Patty Jane’s House of Curl.” The story of Patty Jane, who began a Minneapolis beauty salon with her sister, was a favorite of readers and especially book clubs. Landvik went on to write nine more novels, but fans of Patty Jane and the friends who patronized her salon and performance space kept asking when she was going to write a sequel.
“Once in a Blue Moon Lodge” Landvick's newest novel, is a follow up to "Patty Jane's House of Curl". It is a multi-generational novel starring the ever charming Rolvaag family and their friends. It follows the family for over two decades as they navigate life's numerous ups and downs. Landvick writes in the style of Fannie Flagg. She creates characters that are quirky flawed but lovable.

Nora Rolvaag is a little lost after her mom, Patty Jane, decides to sell the family owned business. Craving a little solitude, she sets off on a weekend of camping that leads to some very unforeseen life-altering changes. This novel is a more ambitious and sprawling novel than “Patty Jane.” Action moves back and forth in time and from Minnesota to Norway. There are more characters, related in so many ways you have to be a careful reader. But like “Patty Jane,” this novel is suffused with love — between parents and children, between spouses or lovers, between people who are unrelated but considered family. There is a gentle humor and good-heartedness in all of Landvik’s books, a fondness for her characters that touches the reader.

This past weekend I caught up with Lorna Landvick in Park Rapids. Beagle Books, a small independent bookstore, in northern Minnesota hosted a book signing and presentation.
Landvick is comfortable in front of audiences as she is a veteran improvisational comedienne. Her  spontaneous performances "Party in the Rec Room” at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis are a hilarious night of entertainment. And she makes her own margaritas right on stage. 

As an extra bonus she brought her ukulele along to entertain the book crowd. 
One of Landvick's trademarks at her book/ author Q & A sessions are a bag of Hershey's chocolates. You ask a questions-she fires a Hershey kiss (I might add with a great aim) to you and answers the question. 

It was an entertaining event to attend and a lot of eager readers buying books. 
Time to celebrate and remember all those special dads.   
Billy Collins remembers his father in this poem The Death of the Hat. It evoked memories of my growing up years when my father always wore a hat and an overcoat when leaving the house.
Collins writes...
"On Father's Day, The Death of the Hat. For all of the fathers out there and for everyone who had (or has) a father. Hats off to you."

THE DEATH OF THE HAT
by Billy Collins June 16, 2013

Once every man wore a hat.

In the ashen newsreels,
the avenues of cities
are broad rivers flowing with hats.

The ballparks swelled
with thousands of straw hats,
brims and bands,
rows of men smoking
and cheering in shirtsleeves.

Hats were the law.
They went without saying.
You noticed a man without a hat in a crowd.

You bought them from Adams or Dobbs
who branded your initials in gold
on the inside band.

Trolleys crisscrossed the city.
Steamships sailed in and out of the harbor.
Men with hats gathered on the docks.

There was a person to block your hat
and a hatcheck girl to mind it
while you had a drink
or ate a steak with peas and a baked potato.
In your office stood a hat rack.

The day the war was declared
everyone in the street was wearing a hat
and they were wearing hats
when a ship loaded with men sank in the icy sea.

My father wore one to work every day
and returned home
carrying the evening paper,
the winter chill radiating from his overcoat.

But today we go bareheaded
into the winter streets,
stand hatless on frozen platforms.

Today the mailboxes on the roadside
and the spruce trees behind the house
wear cold white hats of snow.

Mice scurry from the stone walls at night
in their thin fur hats
to eat the birdseed that has spilled.

And now my father, after a life of work,
wears a hat of earth,
and on top of that,

A lighter one of cloud and sky--a hat of wind. 

We marked the day with a family summertime favorite
Mexican Chocolate Ice-Cream Pie 


1 comment:

  1. I will need to get my hands on Lorna's newest book. I've always liked her stories. What a fun evening for you. What question did you ask of her?

    ReplyDelete