Continuing the story of my whirlwind trip to New Jersey…
It took me 20 minutes riding the tram in two different directions to locate the taxis. I then discovered a cab ride to my hotel would cost me a whopping $70! Gas prices are killing everyone.
The cab driver, an African (not African-American, but African-African), was an incredibly chatty and nice guy…but I think he must have been a NASCAR reject. When he discovered there was an accident on the “Parkway,” he jumped the on-ramp curb and proceeded to take a “shortcut” avoiding the parkway.
I have no earthly idea where he went, we were on a very crowded Frontage road for much of the race—I mean, drive, but I’ll admit I was a little nervous at times.
Forty-five minutes later (normally a 20 minute commute, I later learned), I arrived at the hotel around 8:30. Once inside, I discovered Lou, Howard Mackie, and Ratna Chatterjee, my boss, waiting in the restaurant. I tried to order catfish, but they’d never heard of it. I did order sweet tea, but it tasted like…well, not sweet tea.
We closed the hotel restaurant down and moved to a diner. After discussing marketing, classics, creators, contracts and the like, we finally called it a night and headed back to the hotel. Howard and I, however, were wound up and talked shop until about 1 a.m.
The next morning Lou drove us to the “Fairfield Comic Show,” a local comic show. After the show successfully underwhelmed Ratna, Lou displayed his navigational skills by driving in circles around New Jersey. I must have seen the same Subway about six times. He further took us on a tour of a nearly abandoned mall.
After more circuitous routes, we finally decided to catch lunch where the four of us again talked shop for about 3 hours. And truth to tell, much was accomplished. And while there is a great deal of work in the day ahead, I’m excited that both Howard and Lou are involved and excited about the prospect in the days ahead for Elfin Kids.
My return flight, while late, was much less eventful.
One final note. The collected four of us were a varied group with Lou from Chicago, Howard from New York, Ratna from India and me from The South. Because of their geographical disadvantage, I was forced to spend considerable time educating them on “catfish, hunting, the use of ‘y’all’, and, of course, the evils of Abraham Lincoln.