Medal on the Jacket

April 19, 2014–Friends who saw the panel discussion from the San Antonio Book Festival that aired on C-SPAN 2 “Book News” this afternoon have asked just what medal I was wearing on my jacket that day. Here’s the answer.

In San Antonio the Book Festival kicks off a bigger celebration of community activism and social achievement. There are many medals, pins, and tokens–for  a whole range of different municipal activities apparently– that are worn at civic events during the celebration. The medal I’m wearing is from the San Antonio Public Library Foundation and it marks “Uniting and Inspiring Readers and Writers.” It was given to me before the event and I was pleased to support the San Antonio organizers.

Books in San Antonio

April 16, 2014–A quick comment on the San Antonio Book Festival, from which I’ve just returned. It was a great show, held at the central branch of the San Antonio Public Library. There seems to be a developing trend for these kinds of events for books–I know there’s a national one, ones in the northeast–and the one in San Antonio forms part of a larger Texas movement, with the major festival held in Austin annually. This was the second year for the San Antonio daughter event. By every account the festival marked a considerable advance over what had been judged a very successful event last year.

Anyway the San Antonio Book Festival was very well done, with event venues both inside and outside the library building, and everything from cooking to romance fiction to poetry and literary criticism. Ninety-two authors turned out for sixty-six events through a packed day. I spoke as part of a panel on domestic spying, “Spies Like Us: The NSA, Big Brother and Democracy.” It was chaired by Callie Enlow, editor of the San Antonio Current newspaper, and also featured Heidi Boghosian, director of the National Lawyers Guild. The audience was great and had some very good questions. C-Span 2 taped this panel session. The tape will air on the C-Span 2 show “Book News” at 4:15 PM on Saturday, April 19; and again at 3:15 AM on the Sunday morning.

A fine time was had by all. I salute San Antonio Public Library Foundation for its support of this very worthy event.