Along with autumn come elections. Better though, hockey season arrives. Hockey is best experienced live and in person. TV does not do the sport justice. I can't afford season tix to the Bluejackets (who can these days?) but a few years ago, when Columbus was still a minor-league hockey town, we had a terrific little team called the Columbus Chill, and I had to be unconscious before I would miss a game. (Yes, it happened. Occasionally.) They were attitude plus, and I don't just mean that they liked to drop the gloves and set to. The management's attitude was referred to by other hockey towns as irreverent, and sometimes disrespectful of the game. Whatever. Certainly they were disrespectful of other teams. And their fans. Virtually every game of every season was a sell-out, and it wasn't because the team was a consistent winner. Oh, glory, I loved watching those boys play the game: Jason Christie, Cam Brown, Sasha Lakovic, Jason Fitzsimmons, the late Jim Ballantine who left this earth far too soon. See, guys in the minors play with a joy and verve and genuine love of the sport. God knows they weren't there because the paychecks were good. Pitiable was the adjective most of us would use. When I see our Bluejackets play, most of them don't look like they're having as much fun as the Chill did; and the fans have a lost kind of expression, like they're there because they love hockey but haven't seen any lately. Ah, for the good bad ol' days...
Did I mention that thoroughbred racing starts here again on October 14?
You know Halloween is a mere 30 days out, right? Make your plans early. Have you considered the Greenlawn Cemetery mausoleum tour for the day after Halloween? Look at it - makes you want to pull on your sweater, pack up a lantern and maybe some garlic and wooden stakes and just party down, right? Yowzah!
This being a book blog (mostly, ok, sometimes) I should mention that Michael Connelly will be in town on October 20. The event benefits Thurber House which means one must have a ticket and one must pay $18 for said ticket. If it works out to be less costly, one has the option of going to Books & Co. (The Greene location) in Dayton on the 21st and seeing him without the ticket requirement though they are issuing line numbers beginning at 6pm. Just depends on whether the cost of gas is lesser or greater than the cost of the ticket, right? Your choice, if Connelly is someone you want to meet. I have no doubt the lines there will look just like the photo up at the top here.
My taste would run to the event on the 17th at the same Books & Co. only at their Town & Country location. Sean Chercover will be there to sign his new book, Trigger City. I am mad keen on his first title, Big City, Bad Blood, and the early reviews on his new book have it that Chercover does not know the meaning of "sophomore slump." Author blurbs on Trigger City are plentiful but I want to post the two that were most influential to me, as they came from two of my favorite authors:
"Listen to me. Read this book. TRIGGER CITY is blue-collar human drama, packed with action and heart-breaking moments of truth."
“Superb – dark poetry and violence in a seamless narrative of love, pain and redemption. Trigger City will break your heart in ways you never imagined.”
A wealth of riches, eh? Makes me feel like one of those poor cows in Hud, wishing I could wipe that foam from around my mouth.
I finished the second in John Sandford's Virgil Flowers series, Heat Lightning. I consider it an improvement over the first in that series, with Virgil now more defined and differentiated from his legendary boss, Lucas Davenport. I also enjoy Sandford's website; it's very clean and organized and up-to-date, and has pretty much everything a reasonable reader wants in an author website. Of course IMHO, no author has as wonderful a fan forum on his/her website as does James Lee Burke. It's a regular fais do do down on the bayou every time I stop over there.