Day 97, 98 and 99 WLBT, Vienna, VA, DC and Bethesda, MD

Sept. 14, 15 and 16 2018


by David Runkel

Caffé Amouri in Vienna, VA, the venue for The Author’s official Washington, DC area reading on a cloudy, wet Friday evening.  Our niece Sherry Runkel Maggio arranged the event, introduced The Author and provided Hershey kisses for all.

The friendly audience came from varied aspects of our lives.  Bruce, a writer and

Day Ninety Nine of the Scone by Scone Book Tour
Book signing at Caffe Amouri

budding stand-up comedian, and his wife were guests at Anne Hathaway’s two years ago. Ajit, a UC Riverside classmate, was there with his wife Bonnie.  Rich Keif, a Harrisburg agitator with The Author in the 1970s, attended with his wife, Andrea, and Faith Williams, a Bethesda Friends Meeting colleague, and her daughter Susan came.  Peace Corps pals Linda Kolko and Jon Keeton showed up.  And, one walk-in listened in and applauded. Oh, there was one other person in evidence, a server at the café who frequently passed through carrying plastic bins of dirty and clean dishes.

Not a big crowd and not the easiest reading site (independent book stores in Washington declined to host, mostly because Scone by Scone is not a commentary about our nation’s current political situation.)  But the wonderful collection of people endorsed with enthusiasm The Author’s work.

Many who have heard The Author go boringly on and on about the nether lands of 

Day Ninety Nine of the Scone by Scone Book Tour
Deedie at book signing

Northern Virginia and how they change the names of the roads on a day-by-day basis making it impossible  to navigate “deep” Virginia will be surprised that she was able to lure anybody all the way to Vienna.

What to do for dinner afterward? Proceed to Skorpio/Maggio’s restaurant for a positively delicious four-star dinner, served by our niece Sofia with coaching from her mother, who ran out and got wine (and glasses!) for the invading crowd. She had to do this, she said, because the Author had once cautioned her, “No paper, no plastic.” 

The Tour spent Saturday at Washington museums: the National Portrait Gallery for a glimpse at the official Barack (2nd floor) and Michelle Obama (3rd floor) portraits – he is too grim faced, not flashing his wonderful smile.  The colorful leafy background is in startling contrast to that of other presidential portraits. The portrayal of Michelle, likewise, does not reveal her beauty. All that 

Day Ninety Nine of the Scone by Scone Book Tour
Deedie visits with Obama

said, being in their presence was exciting and inspiring. One had to wait one’s turn for pictures. People of all ages, stages and colors, families, hipsters, English/French/Spanish speakers created a smiling, happy throng. Then there is the clown-like Glenn Close portrait of Bill Clinton. On the floor below, Lucy’s friend Camille Unterback is one of four contemporary artists who are part of an exhibit of silhouettes.  The interactive nature of Camille’s contribution engaged people of all ages and sizes in movements reflecting on a large colorful screen.

The afternoon was taken up by the Burning Man exhibit at the Renwick.  It was mobbed.  Who knew that those in DC would be fascinated by this California event in the Nevada desert.  Although it was interesting, we could not locate any picture of Lucy, Art, Molly or other of their friends who once participated.

At Bethesda Friends Meeting Sunday, many were interested in Scone by Scone with the proceeds from the dozen or so books sold going to the Meeting’s college scholarship fund.  It was great to be back in the Meeting Room at the Sidwell Lower School where we made so many friends and had so many interesting and challenging messages delivered on the years.

The answer to the eternal question – Can you go home? – Well, sort of.