(Post by Robert at Fairfield)
On April 5, 2011, I was privileged to hear David Baldacci speak for the All Henrico Reads program sponsored by my very own Henrico County Public Library system. The venue itself was a treat for me in that I had never seen the new Glen Allen High School where the event was held. This new edifice of education is on Staples Mill Road very near the recently renovated Glen Allen Library. Upon entering the building that looked like a cross between a newly minted government center meets community college, I was impressed with open, clean space. I had arrived about 20 minutes early, but such was the attendance of this event, I was relegated to the nosebleed seats of the vast and pristine auditorium. Here is where the newness of the structure was apparent: there were neither carved initials etched nor used chewing gum affixed to the undersides of the seats-clearly a new high school here.
Mr. Baldacci himself is a wonderful storyteller. After proper introductions by Henrico County representatives and a former professor of his, Mr. Baldacci took the stage in a relaxed, humorous and confident manner, as befitting a former high school wrestler and trial lawyer. He regaled his audience with snippets of life growing up in Henrico County, vignettes of the life on the road of a published author, personal and family insights, and he capped with a white-knuckle tale of a boat ride in Kennebunkport, Maine with former President, Mr. George Bush-Senior. His stories were personal, funny and well-delivered. Mr. Baldacci stayed to sign books for and take pictures with his most appreciative audience. In the line of fans waiting for a moment with Mr. Baldacci, I saw people of all ages. There were young singles, old couples and families at various stages in their lives’ journey. I was glad to have heard Mr. Baldacci speak, see a new county building, and participate in a well-planned and very well attended community event.