Legendary Nantucket photographer and dear friend Cary Hazlegrove drove me down to NYC in her MINI Cooper to pick up the MFKaP, so she had the honor of being the first Nantucketer to sign the car under my ownership. How cute is Cary?! Her many books capture the natural beauty of the island and are timeless treasures.
Next was another dear friend, Mary Haft, whose NANTUCKET: PORTRAIT OF AN ISLAND also beautifully documents the island, with an emphasis on community.
Next I got a custom license plate and bumper website promo:
It took a while to find a good literarily themed six letter vanity word, but I got one that I like. Constant reminders are helpful, after all. Special thank you to Sherri Ramos from Sign Here Nantucket for the bumper letters… effective advertising as I cruise the cobblestones. Read on!
Team Penguin (including MINI mastermind John Fagan on the right) honoring Nat Philbrick as I pick up the keys and the title to the MFKaP.
When I first sat behind the wheel I–of course–had to commemorate with a photo of the steering wheel sentiment by Melissa Bank. Her sentiment: “Happy to be here in such good company” about sums it up for me every single day.
T.C. Boyle, Sue Monk Kidd, and Geraldine Brooks were already in attendance.
Also my old college friend David Rohde, who had signed the car along with his wife Kristen Mulvihill (cousin of Pete of Green Apple fame!) for their memoir about his kidnapping by the Taliban. So glad he made it back stateside to sign the car…!
Next stop was to pick up my sister-in-law Gwen Morton, an editor at HarperCollins (since now the MINI was Poly-Publisher).
On my way back to Nantucket, the MINI and I stopped at R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT, where I always stop for coffee or a treat.
Then on to the ferry for the ride to its new home.
I was, and still am, so psyched to drive this one of a kid car every day, promoting great writers to great readers.
In 2010, the storied book publisher Penguin Putnam had a creative idea to celebrate their 75th anniversary: they bought a MINI Cooper, painted it their signature orange, and sent it across the country on a 20 city book tour. At every event, the author signed the dashboard of the car with a special large silver Sharpie. Nantucketers may remember that the car even came to the island for an event with Nat Philbrick at the Atheneum!
Its adventures were chronicled on Penguin’s Follow the Car Blog.
At the end of the summer, the one-of-a-kind car was put up for auction benefitting the New York Public Library. We were lucky enough to wind up the winner, and the MINI returned for good to its new island home. It now promotes Nantucket Bookworks and Mitchell’s Book Corner as it cruises the cobblestones.
When notable authors visit the island for signings or for the Nantucket Book Festival, we try to be sure to pull them aside to add their name to the car. It’s getting crowded but we love it.