Thursday, July 15, 2004

Odious, Jack, another friend, and I had the recent pleasure of attending a book-signing and talk on Eagle Dreams at a lovely little bookshop in Albuquerque. We hadn't seen the author, Steve Bodio, or his wonderful wife Libby for quite some time, so it was quite a treat to visit with them as well as to hear Steve give more background on his travels described in the book. They were pleased to see us as well--I had the gratifying feeling of being a celebrity when Steve finally noticed us in the crowd and interrupted his talk with a delighted wave and greeting--and quickly introduced us to their other friends who had come as well. We met several falconers and a wonderfully adorable little girl named Grace, and got to see part of the extensive native bee collection that Steve has been working on for UNM, before heading out to a nearby bar for several rounds of cocktails and, of course, vodka shots. When one has just been hearing about a country where the staple foods are mutton and vodka, it's rather inspiring to go out and drink expansively. The frightening thing, as Jack remarked, was that after two shots of Ketel One and an impressively large cocktail each, we were all quite sober enough to drive--the dangers of living the restaurant life.

I had brought along the other two books of Steve's that we own, as this seemed the right time to have them signed for posterity, and handed them over at the appropriate time. After expressing surprise that we had found an original edition of Aloft (his 1990 meditation on pigeons and pigeon-flying), he opened it up to the title page to discover that it was already signed. While I was feeling mildly embarrassed for never having noticed, he read the inscription and realized that he had written it to a friend in 1992, over the weekend that he and Libby first met! So he signed it again, in hopes that Odious and I will keep it longer than Sana did, and we now own an interestingly historied book. Odious says that we almost have to sell it, just to see if the cycle continues, but I don't intend to let any of Steve's books out of my hands. Which I suppose is a recommendation in itself.

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