First, a question…  Did you drink a fifth on the Fourth?  I’ll second that!  (I sound like a numbers runner.)  Well, in any “case,” (another drinking pun) I hope you enjoyed your celebratory weekend.  Ours began with a bang.  One of my neighbors attempted to light some fireworks, but the guy has a short fuse, so it did not end well.  (Who needs ten fingers?)  Other than that, we had a splendid weekend.  Hey, did you know that 56 people signed the Declaration of Independence?  Ben Franklin, age 70, was the oldest signer.  Edward Rutledge, age 26, was the youngest.

By sheer coincidence, I recently spent a few days at the Rutledge House in Charleston, South Carolina.  (I think I found one of Edward’s socks under the bed!)  The sock had a hole in it, so when I gave it to the innkeeper, he said, “Darn it.”  (Look, there aren’t many good Rutledge House jokes!)  By the way, when I was in Charleston, I received a literary award at the Middleton Plantation, and therein lies another coincidence…..  Edward Rutledge actually married a charming young woman named Henrietta Middleton.  (Her father was Henry Middleton, the owner of the world famous plantation.)  I wasn’t invited to the wedding, but it must have been a swell affair.

Speaking of swell affairs….  Helen Ginger’s marvelous book signing event was completely sold out, and my dear friend sold a fair number of books.  Thanks again to the amazing Terri Schexnayder for putting the event together.  A great time was had by all.

And since we are on the subject of great times…  I am about to leave on another mini-book tour/road trip/tequila-tasting adventure!  This time we’re heading due south, toward lovely Port Aransas, one of my favorite spots on the Texas coast.  I will be traveling with a group of reprobates, and a few members of the Portuguese Royal Family.  The Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee will be spearheading the entourage, and happily, we will be joined by Countess Conceicao de la Sequeira.  (Everyone in Portugal and the Azores has at least 3 names!)  I will share (some) of our adventures when I return, assuming that I am not detained by the local authorities on some silly, trumped up charge again.

Finally, just in case you haven’t heard the news, my second history book, TURBULENT TIMES, recently won a Silver Medal for the “Best U.S. History Book of 2017.”  The award was announced at the New York Book Festival, and there will be an awards ceremony (open to the public) later this month at the fabulous Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan.  The hotel, as many of you know, once hosted the “Round Table,” a legendary group of wits who gathered to get drunk and utter brilliant remarks.  (Much like our group in Port Aransas!)  The Round Table included such notables as George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker, and Alexander Woollcott.  Impressive group, but not a single member of Portuguese royalty!

Well, lads and lassies, I must leave you now, but before I go…..  How come young Scottish women are referred to as dogs?  (Lassies)  That just doesn’t seem right.  And one more thing, what’s the connection between Loch Ness and Eliot Ness?  And finally, why do Scottish men like to walk over Heather?  What did that poor girl do to deserve such treatment?

If you know the answers to any of the above questions, please write them down on a sheet of paper, staple a ten-dollar bill to the paper, and send to me at my home address.  Bless you, my children.  Have a safe and joyous week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff



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