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Goodie News

We've just added this new Features section in the Salon. Normally, we'll use this page for News, Recommendations, and Submissions. Until then, here's a small treat from us. As many of you know, we've been traveling around the country spreading the word about the new Panther Book, In the Seasons of My Eye by Marty Matz. We'd like to share a little of the adventure with you. (Extended captions under photos.)


April 13, 2005 began the trip to promote the new Panther book by Marty Matz at the Bowery Poetry Club, where we premiered the Marty Matz video made by Steve Zehentner and Penny Arcade as part of their Lower East Biography Project. A few days later we left New York in the little gray Goodie car with the 17-year-old kitty Kashi, Pilar the dog, and a box of Marty books, CDs, and the video.


Our first stop was Washington, DC, where we visited a couple of bookstores and Foxy's sister. In Asheville, North Carolina, there is a great bookstore called Malaprop’s, owned by a very interesting and welcoming woman named Emoke. We visited the Black Mountain College Museum, and the Thomas Wolfe house, the model for his mother’s boarding house in Look Homeward, Angel.


In Nashville, Tennessee, we had peanut butter and crackers on the courthouse lawn, where we met two ladies and asked them directions to the Grand Ol’ Opry. One of the ladies told us she had played on that stage, and she told us her name was Donna Stoneman. She plays the mandolin, and her whole family is made of Nashville musicians. Her sister was on "HeeHaw," she told us, and she told us that she played with Patsy Cline. She also played with Tammy Fay Baker on the PTL network. She said the two things she does now are play the mandolin and serve Jesus and when we parted, her friend said, “See you in heaven!”


After Nashville we made Memphis late at night, and from a gas station attendant we learned that the new Pope had been chosen and who it was. We stayed in a cheap but much cleaner motel than the one in Asheville. In the morning we zoomed around Memphis and stopped at Burke’s Book Store, one of those great, old bookshops full of good, unusual books, and the owner was friendly and very relaxed, like a bookstore kitty.


In Hope, Arkansas, the tiny little town where Bill Clinton was born, we stopped to have peanut butter and crackers on a bench outside the old train depot, now a museum all about Bill Clinton. You can see the Skippy jar atop the car. The town is mostly boarded over and dying, although there are two active beauty salons, and old, sagging houses with sagging porches on which sat some very old, old people. In the ladies restroom at that depot-museum even the toilet stall was decorated with Bill Clinton memorabilia. Next to the toilet hangs a big portrait of his mother. We thought that his mother bore a striking resemblance to Monica Lewinsky.


In Dallas, Texas, we met a likeable man named Mister Natural at a Friday night poetry gathering in an ice cream shop next to a shop that sold tobacco and a hundred different kinds of bottled root beer. Mister Natural, aka Michael Machicek, happened to be one of “The Crawford Five” arrested for being too close to creepy George W’s ranch. Read about it by clicking here. Mister Natural doesn't wear shoes ever, he carries all of his things, his pens, notebooks, everything, in a basket, and in his hair are flowers and he twinkles. He has no teeth. We liked him right away. When we showed the Marty video at the Writer’s Garret, run by a wonderful lady named Karen X, Mister Natural showed up and made us a gift of his handmade book, It's the Journey Not the Destination.


We also showed the Marty video at the University of Texas on a big screen in a huge auditorium. The Dallas Morning News wrote it up very nicely but that didn’t pry many people out, but those who did come liked Marty very much, and after the video, a tornado came and we were all evacuated to the cellar. This Anton LaVey lookalike who keeps goats showed up and was stuck in the cellar with us. In Dallas, we had a strange smell happening in the car and a little oil drip that worried us, so an old friend who came told us to stop at her Ma’s garage in Wichita Falls. We did, and there was Melba, the most elegant and motor-savvy lady ever. She had her mechanics move mountains to put our car up and look everywhere. She said, “That’s an o’l leak,” and as it would be complicated to find the source, she gave us a pile of clean o’l rags and told us what kind of o’l to have in the car, and assured us that if we were vigilant about keeping the o’l right, we’d make it to the west with no trouble. She was right.


We drove to Albuquerque and thanks to the kindness of our new friend Bryan Kee, who took photos at the Bowery Poetry Club Marty night, we had an invitation to stay at the Rodeaway Ranch at Los Lunas. This is a very special place run by Virginia and Trudy, who each have a house on the ranch. They rescue old horses who would otherwise be executed, and let them have nice retirements gamboling in the red desert. Some of them have one eye, and lots are gimpy, and everyone lives nicely with rescued dogs, goats, pigs, and other creatures. We stayed in the office in our sleeping bags. The cat disappeared into a pile of horse blankets, perfectly pleased with herself, but the dog was terrified by the black, New Mexican night.

In San Francisco, we stayed at Bobby Yarra’s place in North Beach. We hit a lot of bookstores and hung around the Café Trieste. We were right near Washington Square and the Saints Peter and Paul Church, above.

Up in Bernal Heights we came across a nice bookstore called Red Hill Books at 401 Cortland Avenue. The book buyer was not there when we stopped in, but the lady who was told us that her name is Miranda Culp. We asked if she might be related to the Dr. Culp of Wenatchee, Washington featured in our “Dr. Culp’s Library” issue of Goodie, but the lady at the counter didn’t know.


Mel Clay told us that Valencia Street was good for bookstores, and was he right. It made us realize that New York is really lacking in that at this juncture. San Francisco has lots of funky bookstores left. The best one was Valencia Street Books, with a beautiful slim bookstore kitty in residence named Grumblebunny. She enhances the business card and is the only employee.

We had our big Marty event at the Edinburgh Castle Pub on Geary Street May 2nd and lots of people came. Barbara Matz performed some of Marty’s poems with Sy Perkoff playing his piano, and we showed the video. We enjoyed lots of the local color, including Jack Hirschman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Diamond Dave Whittaker, all fixtures of North Beach and very delightful.


We interviewed Jack Hirschman up in his room at the Columbus Hotel where he lives with his beautiful wife, the poet and painter Aggie Falk, and Bobby Yarra took us out to eat at the most delicious Afghan restaurant owned by Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of Hamid Karzai. We can't recommend it enough, especially the pumpkin dish. Later we went back again and we asked the waiter, “Is Mr. Karzai in?” but the waiter just laughed and said, “No.”

Then we headed up into Northern California, through the big trees and along the coast. We came up and stopped awhile in Oregon, where we stayed in this rainy cottage full of spiders and read aloud to each other from The King in Yellow. We'll tell you more about that in due time.

The pets were quite contented all along the way. Sometimes we camp, and people often express disbelief that an old kitty can be happy camping and in the car in general. Kashi is perfectly happy on a sleeping bag.


After doing the Hijinx Goodie, we became acquainted with the web site called, featuring working kitties.We have a link to it on this site for good reason. In Oregon, one of the kitties listed works in Newport at the Sylvia Beach Hotel, where every room is made in honor of a certain author. But there was no photo. So we went down to photograph the kitty currently holding the position, and met Shelley. We took photos, including this one of her sitting on the bed in the E. A. Poe room. We met the owner of the hotel that day and liked her so much we decided to interview her, and it's just a nice perk that her name happens to be Goody. We interviewed her in one of the hotel rooms.


The Coast is pretty, the seagulls and starfish are friendly and the fish is good, although it rains an awful lot. This big seagull has a wonderful nest in this tire on the pilings at Newport. There is much to see and do, and we’ll miss it when we start back, but we must return to New York. See you soon.

Love, Romy and Foxy