Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mitch Albom comes to Charlotte

The featured guest for this year’s Novello Festival of Reading finale was author and journalist Mitch Albom.

When I first discovered he was going to speak, I had to get tickets. One of my passions is sports journalism, and in some circles he’s considered to be a pantheon to the field, having covered sports for the Detroit Free Press since 1985.

Albom recently published his eighth novel, "For One More Day." I figured much of his presentation at ImaginOn in uptown Charlotte would likely center on his effort to follow the worldwide success of "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." Though he did open up with a "what you might not have known in the making of" story about "Tuesdays," he primarily focused on a central theme of … yep, you guessed it: Relationships.

I was surprised because I wasn't prepared to be lectured on the values of relationships. I thought (and had hoped) he would discuss his time covering the Detroit Tigers in the World Series or following the Detroit Red Wings to numerous Stanley Cup appearances. Nope. He wanted to talk about relationships, and how the various ones he's had in his life played prominent roles within his novels.

From his mother, to his uncle and his college professor, those lifelong bonds impacted Albom, and they formed the basis his most recent work, as well as his personal life, is built upon. Throughout his presentation, Albom read passages from “For One More Day,” and he told a childhood story about his mother creating a Halloween costume for him made out of dish rags and toilet paper.

I saw a side of Albom I had not anticipated: a vulnerable, down-to-Earth guy who admitted he didn't keep up with family and friends like he should.

I’m not an expert on relationships, nor is Albom, but when you break life down to its very essence, it becomes obvious that we all share in the trials and tribulations, the laughter and the tears, and the comings and goings of one of the most special things we can take part in – a relationship.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I’m not an expert on relationships either.

Can I get the Big O to pay me to blog?