While there’s not yet been a hurricane named Harry (so the name still hasn’t been retired), Tropical Storm Harry (more than one) and Tropical Cyclone Harry are on the books. There was even that 1960’s cartoon character, Hurricane Harry, an arch villain of Cool McCool. There was the late race car driver Hurricane Harry. Don't forget Harry’s Hurricane Spiced Rum or Hurricane Harry's bar and country western dance hall in College Station, TX. Hey, all worthy points to ponder as one drives three-and-a-half hours from Atlanta right toward Hurricane Matthew to make it to a Harry Crews event at Valdosta’s new bookstore, Book & Table. Heck, Harry Crews once even wrote about his daring escape from Hurricane Elena for Oxford American magazine. Not to mention his legendary writing pace, which I found out last night (video below) was sometimes easily well over 64 knots “with the aid of grade A cocaine.” Hurricaine? Harrycane? Maaaybe it was Harry Crews that winked at us all with this skull image!
While many bookstores might have a resident cat, Book & Table, which opened in July 2016, actually has a room of its own (and, while we're at it, a room with a view)! Just before Ted Geltner's event (gallery below) bookstore owner and author, Mike Orenduff, gave me a quick tour of the cozy micro-lodging nestled among the bookshelves and told me that he and his wife, Dr. Lai Kent Orenduff, have so far rented the room out dozens of times for $65/night. How convenient for guests, too, that Book & Table (also Book & Table Inn) serves lunch Tuesday-Friday from 11am-2pm. Mike Orenduff also hosts a weekly radio show called "Book Talk" on Valdosta's 92.1FM. Talk about a one-stop shop in the Azalea City!
"The writers job is to get naked, To hide nothing. To look away from nothing. To look at it. To not blink. To be not embarrassed or shamed of it. Strip it down and lets get down to where the blood is, the bone is. Instead of hiding it with clothes and all kinds of other stuff, luxury."― Harry Crews
“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
“Passion should believe itself irresistible. It should forget civility and consideration and all the other curses of a refined nature. Above all, it should never ask for leave where there is a right of way.”― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
Andrew Lytle's Inner Circle
Ted Geltner channels Crews mentor Andrew Lytle
“Remember son, we’re better than they are. We’re writers!”—Lytle to Crews after slurping soup in a fancy restaurant
"Dearest Tanya..." | August 25, 1958
Harry Crews muses on his "feverish letter writing jag" with Tanya
“These letters are our feeble, typically human attempt to span the abyss…"—Harry Crews
Crews, Car, & Cocaine
Crews writes Hollywood screenplays at "hurricaine" speed
"“This was written in five days with the aid of grade A cocaine. I’m not proud of it. But I’m not ashamed of it either. The luck of the draw."—Harry Crews, as scrawled on the title page of the screenplay for his novel Car