Judy and I are back from Left Coast Crime, where we had a really great time. My congratulations to the committee for putting together a top-notch convention.
I saw so many people that I'm not sure I can remember who even half of them were, but I do remember being able to talk Lee Goldberg into buying a copy of Robert Martin's Sleep, My Love from Fender Tucker at the Ramble House booth. I hope Lee doesn't regret the purchase later. I picked up a few cool paperbacks, myself, including one of Fender's Ramble House productions, The Crimson Clown by Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro. Apparently the Crimson Clown is sort of a 'thirties Zorro, except that his disguise is different. I'll let you know. I also got a copy of "The Jicarilla Mud," which Fender wrote and which is "A Ramble House Ten-Cent Book." I love Fender's brilliant marketing, as demonstrated by the placard at his table: "Ramble House Ten-Cent Books. $8." Hey, you can't beat a deal like that.
On Saturday afternoon I walked from the hotel to the Mexican border but didn't bother to cross the river. Mainly because by the time I'd gone a block from the hotel, there was only a minute difference between what things were like on one side of the river or the other. It was an enjoyable walk, for sure.
The various bands that played in the bar each night were increasingly annoying, and conversation was pretty much impossible after they took the stage, so I didn't spend much time there after dark.
I missed my first panel because the plane from Houston to El Paso was delayed, but my second panel went very well. It was "Deep in the Heart of Texas: When No Other Setting Will Do." The panelists were Harry Hunsicker, Susan McBride, Margaret Tessler, and Leanne Sweeny, all of whom were great. And later in the convention Susan tied for the Lefty Award with Donna Andrews. It's always fun to be on a panel with a winner.