Folks really support their animal shelter in Gold Beach. It’s the Curry County Animal Shelter. Consequently, these folks really loved Devil Cat, which meant I loved them, which meant it was a total lovefest . . . at my Devil Cat presentation at Gold Beach Books!
And it wouldn’t have happened without my friend Oregon Coast magazine (OCM) writer and author of Renderings Laurel Gerkman who set it up with Gold Beach Books owner Ted Watkins and the shelter’s Executive Director Mark Curran.
Carole, who accompanied me once before on a trip to Bandon, came along as my indispensible helper. We left Friday morning and made numerous stops before getting to Gold Beach. These are all places I had called ahead. So they were expecting me.
We stopped at the libraries in Langlois and Port Orford and dropped off a copy each of Devil Cat. In the Langlois Public Library, we picked up the Port Orford Beacon, a local newsletter, and were surprised to see an article titled ”Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known.” It was by far the longest article. Wow!
When we got close to Gold Beach at Ophir, we stopped at Honey Bear Campground to stock up on German bratworst, braunschweiger, Westphalia ham, special rye bread, and spaetzle. Everything but the spaetzle came from their Black Forest Sausage Kitchen. This is a unique place that has been delighting and surprising everyone who stops there for the past 35 years. My friend, Evelyn who was an assistant editor for several years during my time at OCM, lives there in a small trailer with her two cats. This stop was a total surprise for her. After a lovely visit, we moved on.
In Gold Beach, we stopped at Jerry’s Jet Boats to drop off a dozen Guides, the library to drop off info about Devil Cat, and Gold Beach Books to drop off 18 copies of Devil Cat. I’d already sent six copies plus six Guides in advance.
We checked into our beachfront, view room at Gold Beach Inn. Love that place! I always try to stay there when I’m in town.
As previously arranged, we met Laurel and Evelyn for pizza. Laurel also brought Claudia Crosetti who had helped her advertise the presentation.
We saw posters all over town and there were radio spots and articles in both the Brookings and Gold Beach newspapers that Claudia had written as well as in various newsletters.
I couldn’t believe all the work they had done. I began to introduce myself as “the world famous Judy Fleagle of Devil Cat fame.” I was going to enjoy my 15 minutes of South Coast fame.
On Saturday morning, as soon as we left the motel, it started sprinkling but stopped within a few minutes. We arrived at 9 a.m. for a 10 a.m. presentation and got everything inside without getting wet. I set up my laptop and projector and Carole brought in boxes of books. Ted had asked me to have extra books on hand for Devil Cat as well as the bridge books. No problemo! My car trunk is always full of some of each of my books. Ted set up the sound system and there were more than 20 chairs set up. Then it started pouring down outside. I’m glad we got there when we did. Fortunately, it didn’t last long.
I like to set up early and be able to greet everyone as they come in. So that is just what I was able to do. I also saw folks I knew, that I didn’t know would be there––Joann Curtis who sold advertising for OCM for many years and writer James Boyle whom I’m seen over the years at Gold Beach’s South Coast Writers Conference each February and at our Florence Festival of Books.
Nearly every chair was filled by the time we began. Ted spoke first and introduced me and then Mark from the shelter was my “opening act.” He spoke for a few minutes and then presented me with a framed Certificate of Appreciation. Like I said, it was a lovefest.
There were no glitches during the PowerPoint presentation, Carole clicked to the next slide each time I indicated it, no one nodded off, everyone seemed to laugh at the funny parts, and there was a long line up of folks to have their books signed afterwards. It was how I picture every presentation. And to make it even better, Ted had pledged to give $5 for every copy of Devil Cat sold throughout the day at the bookstore and three other people pledged to do likewise. Since 20 copies were sold, the animal shelter became $400 richer. That really made my day! And to top it off, folks also bought several copies of each of my bridge books.
Afterwards, Joann and her husband, Bill, treated Evelyn, Carole, and me to lunch at Indian Creek Café, a place I’ve met Joann for lunch more than once over the years. Whenever folks from OCM get together, a certain amount of reminiscing takes place. This was no different.
With no have-to-make stops on the way home, we played tourist. We stopped south of Bandon at one of the many blueberry farms and each of us bought several pounds of fresh blueberries. Then in Bandon, we stopped at the Washed Ashore Museum where Carole bought a couple of T-shirts and we both bought metal containers for water. Then we headed for Cranberry Sweets where we paid homage by sampling most of their candies before I bought some Almond Toffee. Yum! Yum!
We arrived home in the early evening. All in all a very satisfying trip––I sold a total of 58 books, helped out the local animal shelter, and had a great time. What more could I ask!