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Sandra Dallas | 5.01.10

Sandra Dallas | 5.01.10

A few months ago I spotted in the newspaper that the Laramie County Library Foundation invited Sandra Dallas to speak at a lunch fundraiser in May. Of course I had to go—while I've read many of her books, Buster Midnight's Cafe is on my Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time list.

How many chances do you get to see a favorite author? Two actually, as Matt and I went to see her speak at the Rocky Mountain Book Festival in Denver in 2001 or 2002. Lucky me! That time I chickened out and didn't ask her to sign a book for me (there was no official booksigning that day) but this time I made sure I got three books signed. I brought my beat-up copy of Buster Midnight with me (complete with photos of downtown Butte and the Pekin Noodle Parlor stuck inside, courtesy of my friend Susan) and two books I haven't read yet that I bought at the lunch.

She was extraordinarily funny—something I didn't remember from last time I heard her speak. There was a Q & A session at the end of her talk, and I asked her who her favorite character is; her answer was Mattie Spenser from The Diary of Mattie Spenser, who was written with both real and wished-for parallels to herself. An aside: that was one of the books I read during DEAR time at Central High School in 2001-2002. I remember this specifically because I was pregnant and ate my contraband yogurt while I read (and let the kids who were in my DEAR class eat a snack too so long as they never, ever left any evidence). I wasn't sure I'd make it through the morning without something to eat that year : )