Papa Report #8


Papa Was A Boy in Gray Book Tour

with Prize-Winning author Mary w. Schaller


Report #8 from Robert E. & Ulysses: July 7, 2001

Greetings From Springfield, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia:
Robert E.: Springfield is one of the most popular names for a town in the United States. Twenty-two states out of the fifty have a Springfield. So does Nova Scotia and New Zealand.

Ulysses: Poor Abe got all excited when we said we were going to Springfield Mall. He thought we were talking about going back to his home in Springfield, Illinois.

Abe: Anyone can make a mistake. Look how many generals I appointed as head of the Army until I picked you.

Burke Station Group Photo:

Robert E.: Speaking of home, we finally got our group portrait taken in front of the historical marker near Mary's home in Burke, Virginia. Photo: Group portrait at the Burke Station historical marker -- everyone except the Bard was present.

The marker states: "Burke Station was raided in December, 1862, by Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart. It was from this site, originally the Burke Station Depot, that he sent his famous telegram to Union Quartermaster General Meigs complaining of the poor quality of the Union mules he had just captured."

Ulysses: Group is right. Just before we did our big book signing in Springfield, we were joined by all the other Bears. They heard how much fun we were having with Mary, and they wanted to come East as well. So everyone is here -- at least for a while.

Robert E.: All of us are pictured except the Bard of Avon. He was already on his way as a special gift for a baby shower. One of Mary's former Shakespeare students is going to have a baby in August, and Mary thought the Bard would make the perfect gift.

King Hal: Meanwhile, the rest of us are settling in very well. Only I do think I should have my own sleeping accommodations. Royalty doth have its privileges, you know.

Abe: Welcome to America, Your Majesty! Here we all share the same room. That's called democracy.

King Hal: Tis a tight fit for one of my ... ahem ... generous proportions.

Robert E.: As I was saying about Springfield...

King Hal: There is no Springfield in England, is there?

First Public PAPA WAS A BOY IN GRAY Book Signing:

Robert E.: I don't think so, Your Majesty. Springfield Station, Virginia, was a small depot on the railroad line during the 1850's. After World War II, the community grew by leaps and bounds as the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area expanded. Photo: Mary and us in the Waldenbooks.

In the late 1960's, Springfield built the area's first enclosed Shopping Mall. That's where Mary had her first public book signing on Saturday, June 30th. It was sponsored by Waldenbooks. There were even people waiting for us when we arrived. Photo: PAPA WAS A BOY IN GRAY Book

Ulysses: That is always gratifying for authors. I was one myself, you know. I wrote my autobiography that was a big seller in its day.

Robert E.: A number of Mary and Marty's friends also stopped by the book store, including more of Mary's former Shakespeare students. She used to teach the Bard's works.

Abe: The Bard of Avon told me he is very proud of that fact.

Photo: Mary, Robert E., and Ulysses pose with Mary's former student Julie Zielaskiewicz. Julie works for a Washington, D.C., law firm when she is not reading books and holding bears. Robert E. went home with her because she is originally from Texas.

Ulysses: Mary presented three of her students with several of our brothers. We were very honored to be in such learned company.

Next Stop -- Gettysburg, PA!