Saturday, August 2, 2008

Me and the Fonz

This was so much fun! Henry Winkler will be conducting a piece at the Boston Pops concert (with Keith Lockhart) in Hyannis tomorrow. Tonight there was a VIP reception for him. I brought one of his children's books (they are chapter books, for ages 8 to 14) and asked him to sign it. I don't think anyone else had one of his books, as this was a music-oriented event, and he was so pleased.

His series is about Hank Zipzer, a child who struggles with dyslexia. The stories are autobiographical, about Winkler's own learning disabilities, his own bad teachers and strict, disapproving parents, etc. The books are funny, and of course Hank triumphs in the end.

Winkler was warm and friendly to all, and very funny during the fundraising auction for the local arts association. His contribution to the auction was an autographed set of all his books (there are 14), plus to name a character in his next book after the winning bidder. He coaxed the bid up to $5,000, and then offered a second identical prize to the losing bidder for the same amount, bringing in $10,000.

I didn't bid on anything! But I did practice when I got home.


Laura Tutino said...

What a wonderful experience. Henry Winkler seems to be a warm, involved person with a big heart. The entire event must have been exciting to attend. Even better, you returned home with motivation to practice. That Henry...what a guy!

cellodonna said...

This is just too cool! :) Love it.

Melissa said...


Ok, I'm just old enough to remember that show. :) But he is really cool. I didn't know he wrote children's books! I'll have to check that out. In my copious spare time, of course.

And I commend you for committing to practicing. I have to get on the stick. First rehearsal is on the 18th, I'll be gone until the 13th, haven't even LOOKED at my music, and I have competition for my chair for once. I hate sitting any further back than second stand....

Maricello said...

Yes, he is cool and the books are good (funny, well-written; I can't speak to the way they present learning disabilities, but I trust Henry). I am not sure that he motivated me to practice, Laura. If anything, he motivated me to think about writing a best-selling series of children's books based on my childhood shyness and how my child character, in the present day, deals with that through blogging and Facebook. :-)

I am happy to say that I have practiced four days straight now, some kind of record for me, at least lately. I have to run out to see "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" now, but I am sure I can get in a few minutes of practice after I get home, before I write my enthusiastic review. And I actually seem to be learning something. More on that later.

Good luck in the chair competition, Melissa!