We’ve only been in Madison and on the second leg of our book tour for two days, but it feels as though a month has gone by. Between today (Friday) and yesterday, we’ve been on public radio with Joy Cardin, on Here and Now (Wisconsin Public Television, airs next Friday), at the Wisconsin Union, and at Fromagination on the capitol square.
The reception so far has been wonderful. We’d hoped Wisconsin would embrace The Master Cheesemakers with open arms and so far, so good — we had a crowd that was (I believe) in excess of 100 at the Wisconsin Union, master cheesemaker Gary Grossen stopped by and shared some stories with the crowd, and we sold out all the books we had available. As an author, there may be no sweeter moment than watching event organizers hustling to bring in stacks of extra chairs so that an overflow crowd can settle in. Here’s a shot from my phone’s camera:
And here’s another shot from our friend Eric Oehler, who was kind enough to attend the event and snap a photo:
Hard to overstate how great of a job was done by the Wisconsin Union Directorate committee that organized the event, the UW Press, and everyone else involved in spreading the word. Our Fromagination visit (left, thanks to Justin Woodward for the photo) was great, too — Ken, the store’s owner, set up a great master cheese spread, and we came within 2 or 3 books of selling him out, too.
The trip’s been a tremendous chance to reconnect with friends and family members, (and family members of our friends!). But we’ve also met dairy farmers, reconnected with a couple master cheesemakers and Center for Dairy Research folks, Jeanne Carpenter from the Cheese Underground and many others, to say nothing of the Wisconsin cheese fans who have been turning out for the tour, eager to chat, ask questions about cheese, have their books signed, and share stories about their dairy heritage.
A caller on Joy Cardin this morning shared his heartfelt belief that if the people overseas who hated America could just taste Wisconsin cheese, all our foreign policy problems would fade away. It sounds optimistic to me, but also pretty wonderful.
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