Have a Marlis Day!

Archive for June 2012

June 9 & 10. Another Printers’ Row 2-Day Street Bookfair in Chicago! What can I say? Four city blocks closed off, rows and rows of white tents holding every kind of book imaginable. A crowd of 125,000 strolling through the streets, enjoying  music,  food vendors, meeting authors, buying books. It’s fun spending time and sharing meals with other Echelon Press authors. Posed behind my book display are: Jen Wylie, Claudia Whitsitt, Sean Hayden, and Gale Borger. My table-mate, Norm Cowie, wore fangs when he shared his werewolf book. I asked the man in the hat if he were Superman. “No,” he told me. “Just superfluous.” We talked. He’s a retired Chicago English teacher who visits schools doing Shakespeare imitations. Interesting. Again, I sold lots of books and met so many readers, both young and old. I look forward to Printers Row 2013. Kudos to Publisher Karen Syed for pulling this all together!

I remember the day Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth. My fifth grade teachers were so excited by the upcoming coronation, they taught us all about the royal family and sent us home to watch the grand event on television. When polled earlier, only five of us had tv’s at home, so they called our mothers and arranged for each of us to host a viewing. School was dismissed at 11:00am and I trooped home with five classmates in tow. Each had been instructed to bring a sack lunch and the school provided a carton of milk. My mother didn’t understand why I wanted to take a lunch to school too, only to bring it back home with me, but I did. I wanted to be just like the other kids. I still recall my sack held a tuna salad sandwich and a banana.

We six 10-yr-olds watched the coronation on the boxy black and white Philco in my living room. Amazingly, my usually rowdy classmates and I watched ever so quietly, as attentive as if our teachers sat in our midst. Not one of this little group of Yanks bounced on the couch, played leapfrog, wrestled, or did the “wet pinky in the ear” business. Mom peeked in on us periodically from her beauty shop in the parlor where she was undoubtedly doing a perm or color rinse. We watched respectively and learned about royalty, kings, queens, and magical carriages carrying princesses. At 3:45pm and time for school to dismiss, my classmates quietly went home. Filled with enough pomp and circumstance for a lifetime, I probably switched the channel to the Howdy-Doody Show. (I think we got 3 channels.)

Sometimes I think the queen and I aren’t really so different. She likes to wear bright colors and hats; I do too. She likes to be waited on and chauffered. Me too. We both take daily walks; she calls hers: her “walk abouts.” We both love dogs, adore our grandchildren, and use Twitter. They say she likes to crack jokes and has a naughty sense of humor, well, there you go again. She always carries her purse but reportedly never has any money in it. Same here. I do wonder what is in hers? Maybe a revolver? I can mimic her little wave, easy peasy. Reporters say she doesn’t scold her help, but when displeased she does “the stare.” Hey, teachers have been doing that for centuries. We call it the gift of glare. I’d like to ask her few questions:

  1. Why have you never granted an interview? You would have made Oprah’s day.
  2. People talk of how Prince William’s wife Kate will someday be Queen Katherine. Why isn’t your hubby called King Phillip?
  3. Did I hear your sixty-something son Prince Charles actually call you Mummy at the Diamond Jubilee?
  4. Is it true your skirt hems are all weighted to prevent a flash of royal underwear on a gusty day?

It’s hard to believe it’s been 60 years. I hope Elizabeth’s life has been as happy as mine.

Hi! I'm Marlis.

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