Bay Books, Absinthe and the Mississippi Comeback Kids

THE DELTA QUEEN COOKBOOK (LSU Press, 2012)

THE DELTA QUEEN COOKBOOK (LSU Press, 2012)

Bay Books hosted a book signing for my Delta Queen Cookbook Saturday, April 13 during the town’s monthly “Second Saturday Art Walk” in Old Town, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The street band was soulful and the weather was perfect, which both made folks come out and, which, in turn, allowed me to sell a bunch of books.

THANK YOU, BAY ST. LOUIS!

I brought pralines and they disappeared quickly. But I really didn’t need candy as bait; many of the friendly bookstore patrons had ridden or worked on the Delta Queen, and one lady even told me she had been a model for one of the boat’s promo brochures.

While I autographed books, Howard visited a few Bay St. Louis pubs with his friends Tommy Elkins and Tony Vernace. A staunch gin drinker, Howard decided to broaden his alcohol horizons by trying an Absinthe Sazerac. He claims the concoction was tasty, but his digestive system hasn’t been the same since.

Bay St. Louis and the whole Mississippi Gulf Coast are making a heroic comeback from Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 devastation. The storm had inundated the building that houses Bay Books with four feet of water. But to look at the neat stacks of books and colorful toys they sell, you’d never know it.