|Seth and John Falola|
I met John Falola at the Wichita Falls Symphony performance last weekend. He was here courtesy of the Kemp at the Forum and the Wichita Falls Literature and Art Review. He had a table across from mine in the lobby for the purpose of selling his children's book "Bob Humbug". I bought one for Seth and John signed it, "To Seth, Merry Christmas and best wishes as you grow up!" John bought a copy of "Come Hell or High Water" to take back to London.
I had a couple of opportunities to visit with John and his friend, whose name, I'm embarrassed to say, escapes me. Names seldom stick with me if I don't write them down immediately. He was as friendly and gracious as John. He is from the Dallas area and came up to Wichita Falls to spend time with, John, his childhood friend. This young man helped me load my books and decorations into my car. Thank you so much!
I noticed a pamphlet advertising John reading "Bob Humbug" on Tuesday at the Forum, and I promised to bring Seth.
Tuesday rolls around but Seth didn't get a nap. There is always this little voice in my head that says, "If you didn't go, he wouldn't notice" but there is also another stronger voice that says, "You promised you'd be there," so I went alone.
You can never prejudge attendance for book signings or readings or the opportunities to make new friends that might arise when things don't go as planned. There were four adults and one child seated at a table in the Dutchess Room, but John sat down and read the story to us as if we were a full audience of children.
As we parted, he urged me to bring Seth on Wednesday night for the final reading. Again, I promised I would if we could get him to take a nap.
Wednesday, Seth took a nap and woke up ready to go hear a story, so back to the Forum we went. When I asked Seth if he could say hello to my new friend, John, he looked down and said, "Probably not. I'm feelin' kinda shy", but then he waved and said "hi!"
We sat on the front row and Seth listened attentatively for more than half of the story, then he began to get restless. John uses a lot of expression when he reads and that helped a lot toward keeping the little ones like Seth interested.
"Bob Humbug" illustrates how us older folk can get into the habit of refusing to have fun. We believe we're too old to join in. Sometimes our ideas change of what constitutes fun. In this story, the children did not give up on Bob, but in real life sometimes our friends get tired of our negative "Baa humbug - ness" and decide to leave us in our boring misery.
Told in rhyme for the youngsters, "Bob Humbug" has a great message for readers of all ages.