The adventure began with a visit to speak to the 5th and 6th grade students at HBW Middle School in Verona, NJ.
The next day, I was off to speak to the 7th grade students at West Essex Middle School. They certainly made me feel welcome!
Unlike in FL, where we have cafetoriums (cafeteria/auditoriums), there was a gorgeous auditorium with stadium seating.
I will never admit to how many slices of Jewish apple cake and lemon squares I consumed. But I will admit to having a FANTASTIC time! Thank you, West Essex Middle School!
Saturday, my buddy Elysa, met me in NYC, as did my agent and her new baby and my editor and her new baby.
After a scrumptious lunch at the Theatre Row Diner, made special by the scrumptious babies I held and cuddled, Elysa and I took in a Broadway Show – my first. Next to Normal was fantabulous and got a much-deserved standing ovation.
Elysa and I also saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Times Square, part of Central Park and Rockefeller Center. We wondered why they cleared the ice at the rink, except for one couple. Suddenly, the man dropped to one knee and put a ring on the young woman’s finger in front of hundreds of people. They skated a victory lap to a love song by Elton John. What a great day!
The next morning, I spoke at the B'nai Keshet Synagogue for the BK Book Festival in Montclair, NJ. A great group of kids and adults filled the seats. It was fun chatting with everyone after the event. One man had gone to the same elementary, middle and high school that I had.
I can’t thank Arthur Levine enough for inviting me to be part of the festival. And Margot, owner of Watchung Booksellers, for providing books, support and good cheer.
Arthur Levine, Margot Sage-EL, Donna Gephart
When it was over, I got into my rental car with my best friend – Lola – my GPS, and she got me back to the airport.
I had a wonderful time in New Jersey and New York and made some amazing new friends, but it was great to get home to my guys, my dogs, my cat and this . . .