Ronald Kidd - November 2019

Thanksgiving in a Book

Pondering Thanksgiving the other day, it occurred to me that authors have a way to say thank you when they write a book. It’s the dedication.

Here is the dedication in my newest novel, Lord of the Mountain, a coming-of-age story set against a background of the Bristol Sessions, the “big bang” of country music.

The first and last lines of the dedication are simple and heartfelt, thanking my parents, wife, and daughter. As for the second line, there’s a story behind it…or, rather, three stories.

Thirty years ago, Yvonne and I made a life-changing move from L.A. to Nashville. When we arrived, we knew almost no one in town. Then that changed, thanks to some very special people.

The Gang

A month after moving, we stumbled into the Sunday school department at West End United Methodist Church and found ourselves drawn to one class in particular—mostly parents who had left the church but were back because of their kids. We didn’t have kids, but we liked the group’s style, in class and at parties.

Thirty years later this is still “the gang”—Peggy, Anita and Ty, Craig and Kay, who along with their children were so great that they inspired us to have a child of our own, a miracle named Maggie. We still get together once a month for something called Game Night, which may or may not involve games. It really just means eating, drinking, laughing, and enjoying the company of good friends.

Bob and Carol

Yvonne and I had both left jobs at Disney, and on our way out the door one of my co-workers mentioned that she had a good friend in Nashville whom we should look up. Interested, and a little bit desperate, we called the friend and suggested getting together for coffee. Instead, we were invited to dinner—“Oh, and do you like Indian food?”

That evening was the first of many fabulous meals with Bob Pitz and Carol Armes, who have been wonderful friends and Thanksgiving buddies ever since.

The Cousins

I was raised in L.A., but my parents grew up, met, and married in Nashville. So when we arrived in town, we didn’t have many friends but had lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. The biggest and most boisterous group were the offspring of my mother’s brother Blanton, known to us as Uncle Tubby, and his wife Izora.

Their kids, Scrappy, Judy, and Packy, are shown here with spouses. Their kids, their kids’ kids, and assorted friends and relations have gathered every December for a holiday potluck, and that first year we were invited. From the beginning we have been welcomed with open arms, and it’s been that way ever since. 

Family—what a gift.

Thank You!

Now that you know the stories, I’ll return to the dedication and send a big thank you to my Southern family and friends—those mentioned above and so many others, who have enriched our lives and made Nashville home.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now Available

  • Lord of the Mountain
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927 at Bristol, Tennessee.
    Read more
  • Room of Shadows
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved.
    Read more
Learn about my books, plays, and music at
Download a sampler of chapters from three of my latest books.

Copyright © 2019 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.

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