I just spent 3 days in Pennsylvania and boy am I fat!  Actually, I was fat before this week, but why quibble when you’ve got an excuse?

On Wednesday night we had “An Evening with Kerry Zukus” at the Lazy Dog Coffeehouse and it was a blast.  I haven’t been this nervous since the first time I was pulled over by a State Policeman.  But the nerves were all for naught.  For one thing, the people at the Lazy Dog are the greatest.  Yeah, I know, that sounds cliche, but I really mean it.  Denyse, David, and their entire spirited crew were superb to work with — true professionals.  If you’re ever in the region, you’ve got to go to this place — good food, good coffee, a martini bar (a martini bar in Lantenengo County?), and eclectic entertainment almost every night.

As for the evening, I was flabbergasted to see that we filled the place and sold out every single book we had for sale.  And I had to sign all those pieces of pulp.  Oy!  I must admit, I started to get a little pottsy coming up with little personalized messages, and if I wrote anything in anyone’s book that may have offended them, I apologize.  All I remember was that I called one woman “sexy,” another a “harlot,” and my old English teacher, “Stupid.”  I guess I was over-stimulated.

I also got into a hugging jag.  I suppose that’s the difference between doing a book signing somewhere where they only know you as “some guy who wrote a book,” versus being at a homecoming.  I felt like I was at my own funeral, only I got to be awake for the whole thing.  What I’m trying to say is, it was very touching to see so many familiar faces, people I haven’t seen in a thousand years.  To those of you who were there, you were far too kind.

That all being said, the show itself was a lot more comfortable then I might have expected.  Not one shot was fired.  Yes, yes, a few folks tried to play “Guess the character,” but I don’t recall anyone even doing that during the official question-and-answer period, but privately before or after the main event.  Maybe it was because 90% of those in attendance had not yet read the book.  I’ll have to see if my hate mail goes up once they’ve cracked open the cover.

Oh, and as for the “all sold out” part … The Lazy Dog is still taking orders and I just sent them a whole load of books, so if you want to buy an autographed copy of THE FOURTH HOUSE and you don’t belong to the major book clubs that are the exclusive sellers of it, the Lazy Dog Coffeehouse in Minersville, PA is the only place in the world where you can buy this book!  And they will even take mail orders if you don’t want to visit the mighty, mighty coal region.  They’re located at 18 E. Sunbury St., Minersville, PA 17954, or you can call them at 570-544-4800, or e-mail them at  They even take credit cards.  But they don’t sell pierogies.

Finally, I know a lot of you who were there took an awful lot of pictures and I want them all!  Seriously, I could care less about seeing myself; it’s just that I had my picture taken with so many people with which I want to remember this lovely reunion and if you’ve got those pictures, please share them with me via e-mail.