Saturday, September 09, 2006

A visit to a very strange place

So here I am, giving my spiel at a panel on history at the book sellers' trade show in Orlando. Booksellers from Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, etc. all reported the book selling very well in their stores, and I made an impassioned plea in my ten minute talk to restore patriotism as a virtue common to all political parties. "I am a vegetarian, atheist, pro-chioce, anti-war, organic-gardening blue state liberal, and I am a patriot," I declared. Later, as I autographed books, they all gave me -- in one way or another -- the thumbs-up.

The very strange place I allude to in the title of this post is the Gaylord Palms Resort, in Orlando, where this trade show is being held. It's part of the same convention/resort group that owns Opryland, and if you've ever been there, you get the idea. Massive theme-park-like covered atrium with waterfalls and rivers and regional sections -- St. Augustine, Key West, South Beach, etc. The artificial river flowing through the place is stocked with giant catfish and tiny alligators of like size. It reminded me of the rubber animals my childhood best friend used to collect on visits to the dentist -- all the same size, so the lion was the same size as the rabbit which was the same size as the elephant. The river even had a section shrouded in artificial swamp fog. All very peculiar. Very very peculiar. Best Blogger Tips
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