Once when my family was driving through Selma, Alabama (it was the summer we lived in our car as my father had to drive all over the nation to keep young football players from changing their minds about committing to BYU--thank GOODNESS the NCAA finally instituted a National Letter of Intent Day!), we saw a marquee in front of a ratty little motel that said WELCOME, JOHN WAYNE, IF YOU'RE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
Apparently word had gotten out that Wayne was filming somewhere in the south, so hey! Why not throw up a welcome sign?
Anyway, if Nick Hornby gets google alerts (which I'm sure he doesn't), I'd like to take this opportunity to wish him Happy Birthday (thanks, Writer's Almanac, for sharing the news!). A LONG WAY DOWN is one of my favorite books ever. I love the way Hornby makes me laugh and cry both. I think he's brilliant. So does my brother Jimmy. So do my neighbors Jake and Annmarie.
So yeah. If you're in the neighborhood, Nick Hornby, Jimmy and Jake and Annmarie and I wish you a happy birthday.