Saturday, July 26, 2008


Mr. Thwaits, the gym teacher who stopped exercising 20 years ago...
(from MILO -drawn at the Thurber House July 22nd, 2008)

Arrived last Saturday and by Sunday Morning I was writing and drawing cartoons for MILO sitting at my desk inside James Thurber's house! Let me say that again: I was writing and drawing cartoons inside James Thurber's house. I can't describe the giddy feeling I get each time I do this (and I've been doing it every day since I've been here).

Of course before I did any of that - I got my month-long "office" in shape. The Thurber House apartment has a neat 2nd bedroom that is the "office" with a great long desk, which I quickly made my own with items from home....

(clay MILO my son made me, Japanese water easel, EYE-VY plant
also made by my son for my 1st second book WHIRLED...)

(...and here are the characters from my 2nd second book
- yes, made by my son - and wife!)
(..and who could travel without 3-D images of your family to keep you company!)

Let me share what I know - 77 Jefferson Ave (where I now sit in the attic) is just one of Thurber's Columbus homes. Apparently the Thurbers moves around a lot. But this is the home where he lived while attending Ohio State University and it is the house referred to in most of the stories collected in My Life And Hard Times.

The week marched quickly and in between my own writing, a few bike rides and some needed iced coffee runs - I taught two library workshops and two Thurber Writing Camp workshops. I love the energy of brainstorming and creating with kids - and from my POV anyway, we all had a blast!

One of many high-points of the week though was a total surprise event! I read a comment on my first Thurber Blog post - from a librarian here in the Columbus area who just happened to be doing a Pond Scum book discussion for kids and parents. "Could you maybe drop by?" she asked.
(There we are after an hour of fun discussion and many grossed-out Pond Scummy munchies! On the LEFT is amazing Upper Arlington librarian, Kate Hastings, who also writes a wonderful book discussion blog Talkin' Bout Books! Thanks again and it was great meeting everyone!)

There was plenty of time for some exploring which included - The Jazz and Rib Festival (note: when full from taste-testing many different ribs listen to STOMACH! Do not eat more ribs even though the smells of 50 different rib joints from around the country will tell you otherwise!
I also went to one of the last films in the OHIO Theater Summer film series. "The Third Man" is a film noir classic and to see it in the 1920's era restored theater complete with an organist who plays before the show (and rises up on the white organ from the orchestra pit like some sort of musical god!) It was a real treat. Check out the OHIO THEATER here!

I know I hinted about the Thurber Ghost....but that will have to wait until next time when I tell you about hunting for a banjo.... at Bob's Banjo Barn!!!


Mary Lee said...

Looks like you've been having some home-grown Columbus, OH kinds of fun! Now it's time for North Market and Jeni's ice cream!

Drop a line to ayearofreading at earthlink dot net and we'll get busy being better hostesses!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Silberberg,
My name is Bea and I'm 14 years old. When I was in grade 3, you came to visit my elementary school and you read us part of your book Whirled. I really liked the book but I never got to see how it ended because you stopped reading to us before we reached the last chapter. I still think about it sometimes and I wonder how your book ended. Is there anywhere I can find Whirled? If not, could you please send it to me? Please write me back. My email address is puppylove2k10[at]gmail[dot]com.