It was a celebration. My first book signing at Nashville’s Parnassus Books was a success. No, people weren’t lined up around the block to meet me, but only three or four chairs were empty. People paid attention. Stayed to the end. I mostly kept it together.

To reward myself for walking 444 miles and getting through a big talk without collapsing, I asked MTM to take me to my favorite Nashville restaurant: City House. It’s fuss-free food and welcoming atmosphere were exactly what I needed after walking for five weeks straight. We settled in and waited for our server.

Paul.

Who had this tattoo that looked like a keelboat.

But it couldn’t possibly be THAT keelboat. Because that would be, you know, REALLY WEIRD.

“So, what’s the occasion?” Paul asked as he poured some bubbly.

“Well, I just had my first book signing. At Parnassus.” I handed him a card.

“OHMYGOD!!! I WANTED TO GO TO THIS, BUT I HAD TO WORK!!! SEE MY KEELBOAT?? I LOVE MERIWETHER LEWIS. WHEN I VISITED HIS GRAVE, I CRIED. YOU DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO GIVE ME THIS CARD TO GET ME TO BUY THIS BOOK, BECAUSE I TOTALLY WAS GOING TO BUY IT ANYWAY!!”

So, of course, Paul and I bonded. Over the journal entries of Meriwether Lewis. Over venereal disease and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Over nickels lost and found.

While Merry sat in the shadows.

And laughed.

city house nashville

Click here to see the best photos from my book signing at Parnassus Books: Andra Watkins Tumblr

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To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is available in paperback and e-book formats at these outlets: Click to Purchase To Live Forever.

As long as you submit reader questions, I’ll answer them. Make me do videos. Come on. Make me.

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