As I’ve written in previous posts, due my accident and subsequent surgery, my attendance at the Miami Book Fair was not looking promising. But thanks to my overall general physical fitness, doing my due diligence in physical therapy, my above average tolerance for pain, and having an excellent assistant there to help out, I was somehow able to make it through the long day while still hobbling around on one crutch. And believe me, from the rising before daylight for the commute down in order to register and set up before opening, to the packing up and loading up for the long, slow, heavy traffic drive home well after dark, it was a very long day. Oh yeah, and did I mention the minimal sleep gotten the night before due to my attendance at the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards which had also required a down south to Miami commute through and back through the congested madness that is typical I-95 Saturday night traffic. But with all the previous being said, it was a great day and a great experience. I didn’t sell a large number of books but I met a lot of great people who happily shared their stories about, and memories of, the great Muhammad Ali. And even most of those who didn’t even bother to stop would point, smile, and shout, “Ali!” when they saw his face on the book cover. My favorite customer of the day was coincidentally also my first customer of the day. The first couple of hours had been window shoppers, browsers, and others who rushed by so fast they looked like they’d made a wrong turn and were desperate to get back into the road race being run down the streets just outside of the book fair. And as I sat and watched what appeared to be a young brother and sister walking tightly on each side of an elderly grandmother figure, she reminded me of Cicley Tyson playing the part of Miss Jane Pittman, approaching, I honestly would have bet the farm there still wasn’t a sell forthcoming. But as they stood at the table glancing at the copies of my book, I watched as the young lad eased around from behind his grandmother’s skirt to reach out and pick up a copy of the book from the table. Staring at the cover, he glanced up at his grandmother and mumbled, “I want this one.” Looking down into his face, she asked, “Will you read it?” He shyly looked down while nodding vigorously. “Are you sure?” she asked. Once again, he nodded. “Well, all right, if you sure.” With that the young lad clutched the copy tight to his chest as his grandmother reached inside her purse and came out with a crumpled up $20.00 bill. I informed her that as my first and favorite customer of the day he would be receiving a discounted price which I’m sure pleased her. I also convinced him to briefly return the book so I could sign it for him. I then watched as he proudly clutched his new possession to his chest as the three of them walked away through the crowd before vanishing from view. I still wonder what made him choose my book from the thousands on display at the book fair that day. Especially with him appearing too young to know much about Ali. But who’s to say. Ali always had that kind of magical effect on people from all ages and backgrounds. As I wrote in my book, people in far away countries where Ali’s fights were never telecast, many of them born well after he had long been retired would point and shout, “Ali, Ali!” when he walked down the streets of their country. Whatever the reason, I glad he got the book, hope he enjoys reading it, and maybe it will inspire him to write one of his own someday. The overall mood, along with interest and sales picked up from there. And as I said before, many people stopped and shared their memories and stories about Ali. And a few even tried to play stump the writer by questioning me about certain Ali fights or wrongly stating factoids about Ali’s life. But I was up to the challenge, despite my sleep deprived state, and answered all their questions and corrected all of their errors. While most just smiled and wished me luck with the book, after sharing their stories, picking the book up one more time to glance at the cover again before setting it back down and wandering away, a few did buy. And as I was leaving I even did a little old-fashioned horse-trading with another author, swapping straight-up a copy of my book for one of his. It was an altogether great day, and I enjoyed my experience as an author at the 2016 Miami Book Fair tremendously.