November 23, 2009 11:05:00 AM
Most of us are thinking about gratitude this week. And why not? Everywhere we look there are reminders of our wealth of blessings.
Even though the economy is still quite gloomy, we are barraged with repetitive lists of gifts, both significant and superfluous. A skillful advertising pitchman can convince us that we should give thanks for department store sales and seasonal bargains. Let''s hope they can light some sort of fire under shoppers. At least the retailers will be thankful.
But this "Black Friday" may not be as "green" a day as hoped for. Recently, a business owner told me she hadn''t had a good day since July.
"Really?" I asked. "What will you do?"
"Oh, I''m relying on the Lord to help me," she answered. Good luck, there.
Grocery stores should do well this week. No matter how thin our pocketbooks, we will probably splurge on Thursday''s feast. It''s tradition. Anyway, few things make us feel as fine as a full tummy and an afternoon of football.
Usually, I have absolutely no interest in football. But Chris really loves it, so I am trying to get enthused about his adored Saints.
Some things do get me excited. I became teary when Brenda Caradine brought Columbus the laurel wreath that rested on Tennessee Williams'' chest, as he lay in his casket. Thankfully, his assistant and confidante had the vision to retrieve it before his burial in 1983.
Brenda is really putting us on the map (internationally!) with Williams scholars and devotees. Do not be surprised when Columbus, Mississippi becomes a mecca for devoted literary pilgrims.
Another interesting author
We know that this state has produced some of the best writers ever. Many are homegrown, but some are transplants. A quirky fate planted Deborah Johnson in this town.
She wrote "The Air Between Us." It is a poignant novel, set in Revere, Mississippi, a fictional town much like Columbus. This is a story filled with secrets and revelations, a mysterious fortune teller and lots of surprises.
"The Air Between Us" has an impressive list of recommendations. It was chosen as a "Spring Pick" by The American Booksellers Association, Costco, and Target. Books-A-Million selected it for their literary book club. It also received glowing reviews in The Atlanta Journal, The Washington Post and New Orleans'' Times Picayune.
Deborah Johnson is as interesting as her novel. She has a lovely and elegant beauty, with a European flair. I suppose she comes by that honestly, after living in Italy for 18 years. There, she worked for Vatican Radio, writing feature stories, in English, about Africa.
A chance meeting with Wilbur Colom brought her to Columbus, where she works for his publishing company, Genesis Press.
You can meet her in person Sunday, Nov. 29. Deborah will be speaking and signing books at The Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, 300 Main Street, at 2 p.m. As always, this event is free and open to the public. Hosted, with refreshments, by The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For a preview, tune into "Sunrise" on WCBI Wednesday morning. It''s worth getting up for. (Once you''ve seen an interview by the very charming Christian Kirk, you''ll understand what I mean.)
So, if by then you have shopped ''til you dropped, overdosed on leftovers, and are sick of football, here is your antidote. Join Deborah and other bibliophiles for an afternoon that won''t damage your bank account but may raise your consciousness. We can all be grateful for that.
Happy turkey day to my readers! I am thankful for you all!
2. A Southern favorite: Rick Bragg to speak in Fayette ENTERTAINMENT