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    Katz on dogs in Saratoga

    I’ve spoken to you before about my newest favorite author, Jon Katz. When I reviewed his newest book, A Good Dog, a press release came with the material telling me he’d be doing a book tour and would be stopping at Saratoga Springs. So it was a Tuesday night and with great anticipation Herman and I drove to Saratoga.

    Borders Books is on Broadway in Saratoga and it only took us an hour door-to-door to get there from Caroga Lake.

    I was armed with my five Jon Katz books and the two columns I had written about him. I’ve heard a couple of other authors speak, but they were mainly Herman-type authors. And though I enjoyed listening to them and meeting them, it didn’t make that great of an impact on me in that I hadn’t read their books.

    Once we got into the bookstore, there were chairs and a table set up for the event. I had Herman drive me up to the front row as I didn’t want any barriers between me and Katz.

    As I pulled into the front row, I heard a voice say, “Oh, Kathryn, I love your columns!” Imagine my surprise being in Saratoga County, going to see an author whose books I’m very fond of, and being recognized myself!

    It took me by surprise and Herman turned me around to speak to Rebecca and we had a nice conversation. She had never read any of Katz’ books, but she had read my column the previous Sunday and was intrigued enough to come to the reading.

    She told me she had recently gone with some friends to hear Mitch Albom, most notably from “Tuesdays With Morrie” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” fame.

    I was momentarily distracted by my conversation with Rebecca and so I wasn’t as anxious in waiting for Katz to appear. Once he did, I was rapt with attention. The first thing he did was pass out 8X10 glossies of his farm and animals. It was a way of introducing himself and his life to the audience.

    Katz was totally unaffected and down to earth in his presentation even though a Hollywood movie is currently being made of his autobiographical books with Jeff Bridges playing Katz.

    He had a very philosophical viewpoint of a Hollywood take on his own life. He was describing tongue in cheek the process of finding a good “symbolic” farm for the movie to be shot at. He specifically told us a funny story of him driving around with the producer of the film, she on a cell phone, talking to the studio. Katz was saying how much he liked a prospective farm and at the same time the producer was talking to the studio saying, “Jon Katz wouldn’t like this farm.” Katz said he turned around and said, “Wait a minute. I am Jon Katz and I do like this farm.” He had a good view of the whole Hollywood take on his life.

    Jon was very kind in signing all my books including dedications to each of my pets. He asked me if I had a dog, to which I answered, “Yes, Moxie, a Dalmatian.” I added, “I also have two cats.” To which he said, “What are their names?” The point being he took the time to put all the animals’ names in the dedications along with mine.

    The evening flew by and before I knew it, it was nearly 9 p.m.  My bed was calling. A quick trip to the restroom at Borders and Herman and I were off.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com