November 22, 2011

Marcus and the Amazons: Rain, Rain, Go Away

 (L. to R.) Henry Cole and Geoffrey Philp

I should listen to my mother-in-law more often. 
On the morning of my reading from Marcus and the Amazons at the Miami Book Fair International, I was awakened by the sound of rain beating against my window. My mother always said that rain was a blessing, but in this case, it didn't look that way. I was beginning to doubt her hard won wisdom too.

Still, my wife and I pressed on. We got into my car and as we were driving down the I-95, it looked as if it was going to be a terrible day.
When we reached 79th Street and there was no sign of let-up, I told my wife, Nadia, to call her mother because I didn't want her to get drenched by coming to my reading.
"Tell Geoffrey not to worry, mi hija," said Anatolia, my mother-in-law. "Everything will be all right."
So, we drove on buoyed by Anatolia's optimism. How could she not be optimistic? My mother-in-law lived through La Violencia in Colombia and struggled for a long time as the matriarch of the family to make sure that her children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren would be safe and secure.
I parked in the main lot of the Wolfson Campus and my wife and I walked over to the Author's Lounge in the main building. After an interview with Jessy Shuster and Barbara Howard, I went to room 1164 where I met Linda Bernfeld, Regional Advisor of SCBWI Florida, and Henry Cole, author of A Nest for Celeste.
Henry is one of the most gracious authors I have ever met and his book, A Nest for Celeste, is not only a good story, but also dramatizes some of the values of Marcus and the Amazons: courage, friendship, and loyalty.
During the reading, I also had the opportunity to share the platform with my son, Andrew, and my "adopted" son, Patrick. 

 (L. to R.) Geoffrey Philp, Patrick Pollack,and  Andrew Philp 

Every father wants his children to succeed. It was a wonderful experience to share the stage with them and to see them present themselves and their ideas so competently. Once, again, my boys made me feel so proud.

 (L. to R.) Patrick Pollack and Andrew Philp
Despite my initial fears, the reading was a success and several of my friends including Rosie Gordon-Wallace and Mervyn Solomon, who gave spontaneous introductory remarks to begin the program, were there to offer their encouragement.
Of course, my mother-in-law was there and she brought her angels with her.

 (L. to R.) Patrick, Anatolia, Andrew, Ramona, and Edna Mae.
Thank you, Anatolia, for giving me hope when I thought everything was going to be a disaster. Your words were sunshine.

& give thanks to your beautiful daughter, Nadia, for taking all these photos.

One Love