If ever I needed more proof that I stand with one foot in the literary world and the other in the pig pen, this email removes all doubt:
My wife Amy is currently reading Coop. On the way back to St. Paul from visiting my mom in Bloomer, she was reading in the car about one of your trips to Farm & Fleet and specifically about the salt blocks. Since she grew up “in town” in Lake City, MN, she previously had no idea what a salt block was. We had already planned on stopping at Fleet Farm in Menomonie, since it was “on the way” because I was out of peanuts. Fleet Farm Virginia peanuts are the best peanuts I have tasted (much better than Fishers or Planters) and I highly recommend them. So while we were there, I took her to the Farm aisle so she could touch a salt block (she did not lick it though). She was surprised at how smooth it was. I also pointed out the milk replacer and alfalfa cubes.
This little field trip definitely enhanced her reading experience.
Man, I’ve already put some miles on since then, but fun to see the folks at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon posted a video of me reading from Coop. The next morning I checked out of my hotel room in Milwaukee and drove to Hartford, Wisconsin, did a reading and a Long Beds concert, then drove to Madison only to discover I left all my clean clothes in Milwaukee.
A friend forwarded this video of the poet Kevin Young reading four selections. Last Saturday we had a whole crew of kin over to the place for a meal that included a big ol’ tank of pork in various forms, and Mr. Young is right on the money regarding the joys of that meat (“Ode to Pork”, commencing at roughly 4:35 in the video, but I’d watch the whole thing, this is good stuff) (and catch that “B/babe” joke in there). Kevin Young will be appearing here, by the way. Based on our schedules, we’ll likely cross each other in the airport. The “Ode to Boudin” is a gorgeous thing, a poem for his departed father, the universal intersection of grief and food and joy and memory: …his sisters/my aunts dancing/in the yard to a car radio...