word craft


A Love Story

It was in 1994. I was liv­ing in Prov­i­dence, Rhode Island.

In the spring of that year, I was invit­ed to accept an award for my book Noth­ing but the Truth in Phoenix, Ari­zona. At the same time, I received an invi­ta­tion to vis­it four schools in Den­ver, Col­orado. With my East-Coast men­tal­i­ty, I thought the cities were close togeth­er, not the almost 600 miles that were the dis­tance between them.

I accept­ed the invitation.

Short­ly there­after, I received anoth­er call, this time from the man­ag­er of a Den­ver book­store, a children’s book­store. Called The Book­ies, it was one of the largest children’s book­stores in the coun­try. I was asked, since I was com­ing to Den­ver schools, would I do a sign­ing at the store? 

Sure, I said.

The Bookies bookstore in Denver Colorado

An agree­ment was made, and I was told they would pick me up at the air­port. I’d do the sign­ing and then I’d be deliv­ered to the school’s des­ig­nat­ed hotel.

All agreed.

Some five months lat­er I went to Phoenix, accept­ed the award, and flew up to Den­ver. But when I got to the air­port there was no one to pick me up. After wait­ing a long while, I called the book­store and asked about the ride.

Seems the book­store had a brand new man­ag­er and, after much apol­o­giz­ing, she explained she knew noth­ing about pick­ing me up. “Please wait. I’ll come get you.”

I wait­ed.

After some time a bat­tered Jeep Chero­kee pulled up to the curb and a skin­ny, pret­ty lady wear­ing a kilt jumped out. With renewed apolo­gies, I was tak­en to the book­store. Dur­ing the ride, I learned that this woman had only just become the man­ag­er of the book­store and had been told very lit­tle about my visit. 

As it turned out noth­ing had been done to pro­mote the sign­ing. The only kids in the book­store were two of this lady’s chil­dren. The eldest, a twelve-year-old girl, was shelv­ing books. The six-year-old boy was only inter­est­ed in some­thing he was col­lect­ing. “Pods,” I think they were called.

The fact of the mat­ter was no one showed up for the sign­ing. All the same, I was stuck at the store for a cou­ple of hours. There was noth­ing to do but talk to that lady.

We talked a lot.

Now I am not a believ­er in “love at first sight,” but by the time I left that book­store, I had fall­en in love with that lady. Lin­da was her name.

The next day I went to the first school. As I spoke to the assem­bled kids, I noticed that Lin­da was there, stand­ing at the back of the room. Seems she had kids there.

When I got back to my hotel, I called the book­store, asked for Lin­da, and invit­ed her out for din­ner the next day.

That we did, and we talked a great deal more. After din­ner, she took me back to my hotel. “Could we go some­where and talk some more?” I asked.

“I have to go home,” she said.

I went to my room.

But down in the lob­by, Lin­da had a change of mind. “I need to speak to one of your guests,” she said.

“What’s his last name?”

Lin­da had a sud­den real­iza­tion. “I only know his first name.” At that point, she grabbed the guest reg­is­ter from the star­tled clerk and searched down the list of names until she found my whole name and called me.

“Let’s talk some more.”

That we did. A lot.

Read­er, I mar­ried her.

Best book sign­ing I ever went to.

Avi Wortis and Linda Wright

4 thoughts on “A Love Story”

  1. Love this! I’ll be smil­ing all day. While some may say it’s the old ‘truth is stranger than fic­tion,’ I won’t call it strange but per­haps there is some­thing to the word ‘des­tined or the phrase, “meant to be.”

  2. So glad there was a guest reg­is­ter. Grab­bing a com­put­er today would have been more dif­fi­cult. Here’s to you and Lin­da! Cheers!

  3. Splen­did ! I Loved read­ing this sto­ry about you both.

    Vinay Rodrigues
    14th May 2024


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