Little Sir Barton and I loaded up the swaggin’ wagon (i.e., my minivan) for my first series of appearances in support of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown. My first stop was the Southern Kentucky Book Fest (SOKYBF) in Bowling Green, Kentucky on April 26th & 27th. I then skipped up to Louisville for Fan Fest at the Kentucky Derby Museum and rounded out this first part of this promotional swing with a presentation as part of the Kentucky Proud Evening program at the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service office in Lexington.
SOKYBF — A Table for Several
My first official event as an author was this appearance at SOKYBF at Western Kentucky University’s Knicely Convention Center. Our table was all University Press of Kentucky authors, several in all, including Milt Toby, who wrote Taking Shergar. I had a number of friendly faces come by and get books signed, a new experience for me, for sure. Little Sir Barton hung out with me the whole day while I met writers like Abbie Roads, Andy Plattner, and Artie Bennett. I also had the chance to talk to Milt and even had the privilege of meeting Alex Waldrop, the president of NTRA. A great day!
Fan Fest — Triple Crown Excitement
The theme of this year’s Fan Fest at the Kentucky Derby Museum was the Triple Crown. A new exhibit featuring last year’s Triple Crown winner, Justify, opened with a few pieces of Sir Barton memorabilia thrown in to celebrate a century of the Crown. I was invited to speak about Sir Barton, which I was able to do in the Museum’s Central Hall; I saw radio host Steve Byk pop his head in and then apparently Mike Smith & Caton Bredar must have heard some of my presentation because I received compliments from both! I then was able to sit just outside the gift shop for a book signing. I met so. many. people. including Mike Smith(!), Caton Bredar(!), Julie June Stewart, Pat Day, and more! I even saw Bob Baffert not three feet from me!
In addition to getting my own copy of Sir Barton and the Making of the Triple Crown signed by Bredar, Baffert, and Smith, I also got a Justify Maker’s Mark bottle signed by those amazing people. I lead a charmed life!
Kentucky Proud — Talking Sammy
Little Sir Barton and I made our last stop on this whirlwind trip around Kentucky in Lexington. A short drive from Louisville found us in LEX for one of the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Office’s Kentucky Proud Evenings. The staff at the CES provided a yummy Derby-themed dinner for the audience and myself, including an amazing quiche and cobbler. The evening was also a chance for me to give my first extended presentation on Sir Barton’s life and career, an opportunity I enjoyed immensely! A couple of those smiling faces even came back for a second go-round when I appeared at the Keeneland Library a couple of weeks later.
Alas, our swing through the Commonwealth was over. I had an AMAZING time talking about Sir Barton, signing books, and meeting so many people. The best part is I got to follow all of this excitement up with Book Tour Part II — Talking Horses.