Sunday, April 23, 2017

From Brewed Awakening to Galaxy Express

Extensive road and sidewalk construction in the district, not to mention the ever-present threat of rain, likely kept at least some patrons from Brewed Awakening's Spring Book Festival yesterday in Danville, VA, but it still drew a respectable crowd, and I moved enough scary books to ruin a good night's sleep for any number of folks. Since its early days as Binding Time in Martinsville, the café/bookstore, under the proprietorship of John and Bonnie Hale, has hosted the multi-author book event at least once, usually twice each year. I have missed one or two for various reasons, but as a regular participant, I have always enjoyed attending the festival, and — best of all — it has been, without exception, a profitable venue for me.
Jill Van Horn, author of Sheep Eaters, and friends

While I miss having the café right up the street from Mom's place in Martinsville, I certainly appreciate the newer location, in the restored tobacco district in Danville. There's still a lot of work going on in the area; in fact, until 24 hours prior to the festival, the sidewalk where a number of us set up our tables was non-existent — just a big old patch of mud (and there were plenty of big old patches of mud remaining all around the establishment). Happily, while some serious rain came down both before and after the event, the weather cooperated sufficiently to allow those of us who had set up outside to remain there, although the serious humidity did have a less-than-desirable effect on some copies of our books.

In addition to reading material, Brewed Awakening offers a fine selection of sandwiches, soups, coffees, sweets, and other treats that have earned them the 2016 Best of Virginia award, among others. For lunch, I had a delicious roast beef on naan sandwich, with BBQ mayo and jalapeno jack cheese, called The Dibrell, with literally the best potato salad I've ever tasted. And their coffee... oh yeah, it rocks.
Photo by Bonne Helms-Hale

The nice thing about the location in Danville is that it's close to a number of other attractions for both Ms. Brugger and I — namely, 2 Witches Winery and Brewery, which we enjoyed sampling; Vintages by the Dan, a classy little wine shop offering a fine selection of spirits and free wine and beer tastings; the extensive Lou's Antique Mall, where Ms. B. can get lost for hours; and Golden Leaf Bistro, where we had an excellent dinner last night and which we have enjoyed on any number of visits.

After all this, Kimberly and I returned to my place for a showing of Galaxy Express 999, which likely remains my all-time favorite example of classic animé. I've been a fan of Leiji Matsumoto's creations since discovering them via Space Cruiser Yamato (a.k.a. Star Blazers) in the late 1970s, and I've recently been watching the 2002 animé series, Captain Harlock: The Endless Odyssey, which I'd not seen before. While it may not be the best of the series, it has served to reignite my somewhat dormant interest in all things Harlock.

A much-needed good day, and we thank you.
Preparing for the opening (photo by Bonnie Helms-Hale)
Author Tom Perry, who specializes in volumes of Virginia and North Carolina history
A busy alley!
For me, tasty flight of local brew from 2 Witches: a sour wheat ale, a triple IPA, a coffee stout,
and a scotch ale; and for Ms. B., a glass of traminette

1 comment:

Becky Mushko said...

It was a very nice bookfest! And the variety of authors ensured there was something for every reader.