Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good Friends and Travel

James O. Born

I like my friends.

It sounds simple and obvious but I realized this past week that I have good damn friends. From the ones I’ve known most of my life to the ones I’ve met only once, I am impressed with the level of effort they showed the last week just because we’re friends.

First, I visited Scottsdale and the Poisoned Pen where my college roommate picked me up at the airport and shuttled me around for the day. The fact that he’s a little older than me and has a four year clearly indicates that although he’s gone crazy, he’s still a good friend. Barbara Peters put me at ease with the crowd and I had a great, but really short trip. By the way, I maintained my vow made right here on Naked Authors not to eat at a Waffle House until I was 195 pounds, the prime minister of Iraq was 195 or he was dead. Frankly, I didn’t think I’d have to wait this long. I made the vow in May of 2007.

In Houston, last Thursday, the dependable Jeff Shelby, from First Offenders' blog, came down from Dallas and made it a fun trip indeed. We met up with another buddy from Florida, Randy Wayne White, spoke at the Murder by the Book store, played a prank on the good-natured David Thompson and generally had a hoot.

The highlight of the visit to Houston was a gift from another friend. Tom T.O, from this very blog, sent his beautiful daughter, Margeret to say hello and drop off a great bottle of wine as well as get a couple of books signed. This portrait is the closest I could come to a rendering of Tom. Tom is a smart, well read man, but until you meet his daughter, you don’t realize his biggest contribution to the human race. It was an act of kindness that made me smile all weekend.

Friday was another big day as I traveled from Houston to Charlottesville, Virginia for the Virginia Book Festival and finally met our own Jacqueline Winspear. Aside from the phony English accent she insisted on using all weekend, she was delightful. I enjoyed her panel Friday night and chatting at the author reception Saturday night. I made sure everyone there knew we were associated. But all anyone wanted to know is: What is Paul Levine really like? I told them his Tuesday blogs pretty much give you a good view of the man.

I’m home now and have to say that after six weeks of travel, I’m amazed at how few issues I experienced. I made all flights, no big delays, I found every store, library and festival site with a minimum of trouble. No fist fights or drunken tirades. Just a pretty good time talking about books.

And seeing good friends.


  1. Nice haircut, Jim.

    Delighted FDLE has sent you undercover on the Skinhead Detail.

    Welcome Home.

  2. Lovely photo of you and Our J. I have an authentic picture of Tom T.O. that I'll share with you, but it's going to cost you. He is, indeed, a learned man and a great guy.

  3. I should mention that Shelby made me torture David Thompson.

    The first time.


  4. You and Our J look fantastic! Welcome home, and I'm so glad you had a good time on the road.

  5. phony english accent, my foot.
    nobody does it better than your/my/our j!


  6. Congrats, Jim. You got to meet all of the hot chicks.

    Welcome home. Don't sleep it all at once.

  7. Wow! Great portrait of me, Jim--I had forgotten sitting for it!

    I do like to support my friends, especially those who have potato cannons!

    Glad you had a chance to meet my daughter, in whom I am well pleased. Your gentle kindness is humbling.

    I didn't realize Our J's accent was fake.... :-)

    Tom, T.O.