Sunday, June 27, 2004

Visit Los Angeles

At daybreak yesterday I was unhappy. To tell you the truth I was miserable. At sundown I was happy. At daybreak I had my chat with my brother. I've talked to some people and Roger's going to a clinic, I guess that's the word, in Arizona, where he can rest and come to his senses. There are psychiatrists there, so he can take care of his mental problems.

The book-signing event yesterday was marvelous. LaBrea is located in the African-American sector of Los Angeles. But the people, who attended were from all creeds and breeds. The reception I got was overwhelming. I was moved to tears. I had such a good time shaking hands and talking to people outside, they practically had to drag me inside to sign the books. After the event, the owner of the book gave me a copy of The Heart is a lonely Hunter as a present. It's in the bestsellers list, but I had never heard of it. Yesterday was a day to remember.

After the book signing, I took a tour of Compton. A poor, dilapidated black neighborhood. The inhabitants might be poor, but they gave me a welcome I will never forget. They made me feel at ease, at home.

I don't know what it is between me and African-Americans. Some say I identify with them, because I was a downtrodden poor boy with an abusive father from Arkansas. I don't think so. I just like them. I always did, even years ago when segregation was still the talk of town in the South. I remember I always went to black clubs, because I loved the music. At first they’d look at me and ask themselves, "what does he want from us?" An understandable question, but as soon as they saw I was there for the music and the food, yes always the food, they accepted me. That is until I brought my sax and asked if I could join in the jam sessions they used to have in those days.

I'll be in San Francisco with Hillary. I have a book signing session and she's giving a speech about women and leadership in the 21st century. I'm looking forward at spending time with Hillary in this town. We visited San Francisco when we were still dating. We have fond memories of the time we spent there. I'm looking forward to going to the harbor, get something to eat and walk around town. San Francisco is beautiful. By the way, never say Frisco or San Fran if you're not a local, because they'll never forgive you. I'll be staying at Robin Williams' place. He's one of my best friends. He has a lovely wife and I'm fond of his children. I'm looking forward to the coming days.