MONTCLARION: March 4, 2016
One of Hollywood’s hotties is coming to Montclair. No, it’s not Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney or even Kevin Costner. Think back to the 1970s and the hunk with the black leather jacket.
Yes, Henry Winkler — aka “The Fonz” from the TV series “Happy Days” — will be here at 7 p.m. March 18 to talk about book number seven in his Hank Zipzer series — “You Can’t Drink a Meatball Through a Straw.” Winkler was a sex symbol for boomers. And he’s the nicest guy. I once interviewed him in San Diego and he held my hand the entire time.
Winkler and co-author Lin Oliver will speak to an assembly of Hillcrest Elementary School kids, then do a reading and signing for A Great Good Place for Books. It was the shop’s event coordinator, Carolyn Hutton, who spearheaded the visit.
“Basically, I wrote a proposal, pitched the church (the reading will be at Montclair Presbyterian) and a school visit, and Penguin said yes. Needless to say, I was over the moon when I received that email!”
Winkler and Oliver will talk about their childhoods, careers and how Henry’s dyslexia challenged and shaped his life. The character, Hank Zipzer, has dyslexia and the popular children’s book series is expanding into television and other media.
Hutton says it may be hard to explain Winkler’s sex appeal to today’s youth, but boomers will have no problem going back to those “Happy Days.”
“He apparently draws a couple hundred folks at every visit, and I can’t wait to meet him,” Hutton says.
If you’d like to say ‘yo’ to “the Fonz,” the event is open to the public in Montclair Presbyterian’s sanctuary, 5701 Thornhill Drive, Oakland. A book purchase will be required to join the signing line.
Book it: Speaking of books, thanks to author Joe DiPrisco for including an excerpt from my column in reviews for his book “Subway to California.” And speaking of A Great Good Place for Books, DiPrisco will read from his new novel, “The Alzhammer” at 7 p.m. March 15.
Around town: The hip little wine bar, Duvin, is pulling in some good local entertainment. Violinist Kippy Marks is a regular, and comes loaded with sound and original songs from his seven CDs. Check him out in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLJZ7H-YjE4. You might also get lucky, like we did, and have Duvin’s resident artist sketch your group. Next week, I’ll write about Duvin’s plan to employ refugees who’ve been brought to this area through rescue.org.
Animal tales: It’s amazing what you can learn in a hot tub. Last week’s swim club chatter included talk about chickens. Yes, the fresh eggs are great, but the poultry apparently attract rats. And how do you deal with that? Hire an animal psychic who convinces the rodents they need to move on. Then they become someone else’s problem.