tv Book Discussion on The Witch of Lime Street CSPAN December 5, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
been an astrologer and a screenwriter. he is a new york native. this is his first book, the publication date, you know me better than that. please join me in welcoming david jaheer. [applause] >> thanks everybody for coming. i want to talk about the setting for this book and i want to talk about the story but i also want to make the point this period is varied distant and it's going to sound like a time where society was very socialist and didn't sound like a period was very long ago. but in fact in 1983 the university of chicago showed in
a poll that 27% of americans believed they were in touch with the dead and this was the national voting research center believe. this wasn't about asking people if they felt they were having imaginary conversations with the dead. the question was do you genuinely believe that you are in touch with spirits and you are hearing from them? as i mentioned, 27% of the people said that they were which would have translated to about 50 million americans who believe that they were in touch with the dead. so that was in 1983. the other thing i will say about how close that era essentially is is that when i was a kid i remember there was an ice cream
parlor near me. some of my friends probably remember that ice cream store and i was sitting there at the grand opening and there was this old man that was being introduced to all the patrons and he came to me and he shook my hand and he said hi i'm jack dempsey. now jack dempsey was one of the three or four great icons and that it was sort of said what he was doing at that point but i'm only illustrating this story to mention again that the two large can intersect in that way you are not talking about -- so the time period i'm writing about in the 1920s was a time where without question the most recognizable, most famous american in the world is a magician. this was in between the death of teddy roosevelt in 1919 and that was before lindbergh had flown
across the atlantic and in those intervening years --. >> sorry. >> that's okay but in those intervening years who dini's famous fame was at its apex. as i mentioned he was the most famous american on the planet. the other thing i will say about this era is that there are times certainly in the summer of 1924 where medium was on the front page of national newspapers like "the new york times" it was a time when this one particular medium had the following religious leader and in fact she was the avatar of this movement
called spiritualism. this was a religion that really had only one tenant they believed it was possible to communicate with the dead and the séance. we'll we will talk more about that but essentially what it was, for the first time in 2000 years mediums were conducting rites and religion so all these things are happening in 1920s but if you really want to understand the 1920s, you have to go back a few years earlier. in the early part of the 20th century, there is this sense that science and technology were going to conquer every human health. you know all these terrible diseases like cholera and smallpox, typhoid. they developed vaccines for them solve these terrible epidemics were these plagues were no
longer as much of an issue. tuberculosis had killed 25% of the people. he they were making strides to arrest tuberculosis so the other thing that was shocking to me was there hadn't been a major war in europe since the franco-prussian war which was 50 years prior to 1914. there hadn't been a major war and america can longer than that, since the civil war so there is this sense that the world is moving into this new enlightened. not where there wasn't going to be war anymore, at least not major war where sicknesses were going to be conquered by science and technology. it was an irrational age and there was a sense that people were really changing, that the world was progressing and that things were just improving and
certainly in those areas for the better and in what happened? in 1914 you have the worst war anybody could imagine. it was this war where people were prepared for the devastation, the new weapons in the new technology so you have battles where the british lost 20,000 men, 20,000 dead in the first day of battle. by the end of the war you had about 20 million dead. england had lost a generation. france and lhasa germination and germany had lost a generation and just when it looked like it couldn't get any worse they had an influence epidemic which took even more people than the war. it took about 100 million lives and a disproportionate amount of young people, so you have this
collective journey to try to understand if it was possible to communicate with these dead souls. the western world was be reefed and two men in particular. if you were an upper-class englishman and your son was fighting the war, your son was dead. that's basically all it was to have. the life expectancy the field officer in world war two was about six weeks. sofa cramond goyal you probably know him as the creator of sherlock holmes started thinking conan doyle was also the de facto leader of the spiritualist
movement. again this religion that's based on the idea that the dead can be reached and you can try to communicate with them through séance. so doyle had written a number looks. he wasn't writing about sherlock holmes anymore. he was writing books like the new revelation of the vital question. doyle had not only lost a son but he had lost his brother by the end of the war. he had lost his wife's brother as well. he lost his nephew. essentially every mail from doyle's family died during the war. but he claimed that he didn't grieve them because he believed he was in touch with them through the séance that he was able to communicate so he was one of the two most influential members, leaders of the spiritualist movement. the other was oliver lodge. oliver lodge was probably the one art to most respected
scientists in england. he was almost like they're thomas edison in a way because he was also a great adventurer. he invented the spark ignition and radio waves before marconi. he was a really important figure. his son raymond died during the war. again he believed he was in touch with raymonds. he wrote a book called raymond that they say was more popular in england than the bible during world war i because everybody wanted to believe it was possible to communicate with these dead boys and when this is respected scientist tells you it's possible and conan doyle who, conan doyle wasn't just a writer or an author. conan doyle was the face of the british empire. conan doyle was england's teddy roosevelt. he was athletic and loved around
the world. he wrote about the war. he was a very respected columnist. the british public just loved him. they revered him. he was without question the most famous englishman in the world. so you have these two famous figures who come out and they are telling the world that is possible to communicate with the dead. conan doyle believes that spiritualism is really going to take hold and you have to bring it to america. so he urges oliver lodge who has never been to america, to come to america. oliver lodge comes to america and the first day on the job in january 1920 comes to america and he starts telling americans it's possible to mitigate with the dead. americans have lost people through the epidemic of course and we lost people during the
war but america was not really grieving but lodge more than any single individual was the person who really inspired this a call to arrest the -- renaissance america, this revival. he comes to america couple of months later and norman rockwell is painting this couple doing the ouija experiment on the front page of the eve -- evening post. ouija became the rage and séances became the rage and it was all because oliver lodge went across the country and he sounded very convincing. people thought that he presented proof. now what's happening right when oliver lodge is speaking in america, the magician houdini had come to europe. houdini was probably more famous
when he first started out as a magician when he first achieved any kind of recognition in europe, he was loved there. he considered england his second home and in january 1920 just as oliver lodge is making his case in america, houdini comes inland and you know this was a little over two years after the war, i'm sorry a little over a year after the war. england was still at war and there was war rationing going on. houdini was a vital figure. the very personification of american vitality at the time. america was a young country and still refer to as the new world. england was the old world. england was devastated.
america hadn't really been depleted and not buy and sell houdini shows up with all this energy and setting box office records in england. it seems like he can personally energize and his magnetism and the spirit was infusing with his new energy by what people don't realize was houdini was depressed. he was a really unhappy guy. his mother had died not long before the war in 1912 and houdini was passionately in love with his mother. and e.l. doctorow once referred to houdini as they last great mother lover. this was just before freud was becoming famous in america. he could write these love letters to his mother and no one really thought anything of it.
so houdini, she was the light of his life, so she died and he never recovered from that loss. he starts going to see psychics and mediums to get in touch with her spirit but houdini knows all the tricks of mediums because when he was young the first time he made any kind of an impact as an entertainer the first time he started making any kind of significant money was at the false medium. he had was called the show where he would basically give these false séances and use what he called spiritus forced to make fly around the room and raise tables. so he knew of the secrets of the mediums but he had this very kind of love-hate relationship with them because he wanted to find one who was genuine.
he has begun corresponding with conan doyle and he wants to see all these english psychics that conan doyle has been recommending and conan doyle is advocating so houdini developed this unusual friendship. conan doyle was this early, three very impressive formidable figures, scotch-irish night. houdini was very short and he was from the ghetto. so they formed is very unlikely friendship and houdini starts to attend séances that doyle arranges for him and then houdini comes to america, comes back to america and he starts making a movie that really carries spiritualistic theme to
it and it seems many people bought into it. houdini was a movie star and filmmaker by this time. so then conan doyle comes to america and oliver lodge plants a seed for the so-called revival in america. conan doyle to set the country on fire. he sets box office records everywhere. he is one of the great public speakers of his time and he can present things in a scientific way the way lodge did but he spoke from the heart and he seemed so sincere and again because he is sort of syllable medic and rational. some people call them sherlock holmes. he had a reputation for being able to solve these mysteries and clearing names of criminals who have been wrongly convicted, this kind of thing.
americans of islip conan doyle anyway. he turned so america and now the country is just mad for those séances and he's becoming this domestic pastime. the jazz age is also a time where contests were becoming very popular and in 1922 i believe was the first miss america pageant. it was also around the time that there was something called a nationwide motion picture idea contract that cecil b. demille this -- cecil b. -- said give me your best film idea and i will make it. whoever comes up with the best idea will make the film you
suggest. this happened a little bit earlier and there was this reference for science and einstein came to america. he was given a ticker tape parade down broadway. this was reserved for great explorers and here's this little jewish professor and they are bringing them down broadway and became so reticent. no one in america understood anything about exactly what einstein had done. whatever he did was great and is it's just a testament to how caught up people were when reference was given to science. so the scientific american which was a really big deal, they were sort of like a combination of the new york times and --
because they were investigative agency at a time when technology was becoming so pervasive and there were all these new inventions. people looked to americans and told them what was a legitimate convention and what was really the next great development around the curve and what was just flimflam. this famous dr. at the time mate named albert abrams who said he could cure anybody, sounded kind of silly and it takes too long to explain but he claims to be able to diagnosing cure anyone through this sketchy apparatus machine and people believe this. scientific america investigated him and they said there's as much legitimacy to this as the ouija board.
they discredit him and that's just the kind of thing they did. they were going after people that i thought were -- the public. nobody understands what einstein is saying. let's give a lot of money to the person you can best explain to the american public. that made it sound like such an interesting concept that caught on and we got front page coverage in the newspapers they have all these contests that are becoming part of the social fabric of the united states. and when conan doyle arrived and everyone is interested he has another idea. well what if we can conduct a scientific study to show that is possible to communicate with the dead. let's try to see if we can establish whether that can be scientifically proven but let's
do it in the guise of a contest. some outcome bird, his idea is taken -- basically a psychic contests. what they do is they set up a judging division of some of the top scientists in america. willie mcdougall who was the chairman of psychology at harvard was one of the judges. mcdougall was the president of american psychic research. it just shows you the interest in spiritualism. a book about experiments he was conducting on his wife albert einstein wrote the introduction to it. they were nobel prize winning scientist at this time.
they left their fields and were devoting themselves to trying to establish -- and trying to prove the existence of ghosts and psychic phenomena. he represented that crossover between hard science and psychic phenomena because he's president of the american society for psychic research. there is another figure named danielle can't stop -- danielle comstock who was chosen to judge and if google represent this crossover between science and ghost hunting than comstock represented the crossover between science and entertainment is comstock was also the person who founded -- and developed that pull colorization process. data just become popular. he was also now the ghost hunter so he was another one of the judges who were chosen.
and the other judge was herod carrington who is sort of a man after my own heart. she wrote these books about veganism and juice fasting. if you think about today, this was the 1920s and people thought he was out of his mind. he was also known as a really shrewd psychic detective. he disguised himself as an old man and he wrote an exposé on the front page of their times and is considered a very skilled psychic investigator. he was one of the judges. walter prince who had three three degrees from yale and solved what was called the antigonus poltergeist case in canada.
poltergeist had supposedly caused all these incredible things to happen. it's just such an out-of-the-way place but again it became so famous in america that they had to send scientist of the candidates is ready it and walter prince fata was a hoax. it was a young daughters family so prints was probably the most famous psychic investigator in america. the final judge was houdini considered the world's extra -- expert because the time he had spent as a false medium. by this time he and conan doyle were not getting along as well in them or because conan doyle bought houdini was a psychic. he believed a lot of people -- and houdini had actual powers.
people could explain those things that houdini could do but conan doyle by this time they had a falling out and houdini was basically discrediting some of the psychics but conan doyle had sent him to. they weren't getting along anymore but scientific america knew no psychic what's app or word without conan doyle. so he goes to england and he talks to conan doyle. he talks them into not becoming a judge in the contest but becoming somebody who would advocate it and give it a stamp of approval. so they are ready to start the contest. they have the judges and basically the scientific american which was located in a
building downtown they converted their offices into séance rooms, so the only problem is they don't really have a viable candidate. this contest goes on for a year and a half and they test various mediums but they are clearly not genuine. they can't find anybody that they can even test seriously for a long period of time. at this point is young, if boston woman named nina kramden had supposedly discovered that she was psychic and the difference between nina kramden and other psychics in america, nina kramden was married to a very prestigious position in boston. at this time it was considered a
little disreputable to be a medium. nina kramden never took a penny for her work and didn't need the prize money that scientific america was offering. she would donate it to scientific research if she would win. she had incredible abilities. she goes to europe and she completely dazzles all the scientists in europe. conan doyle was amazed. people have asked me, some people have asked me if he could restage that contest, the psychic contest and if he could do it today, what i would say is i don't really think it's possible because what nina kramden was doing, she was a physical medium. if the scientific american wasn't interested in mental phenomenon. they weren't interested in studying whether not a medium could ring the name of your dead and favorite. getting care about that. they wanted the kind of medium
who could make tables rise and cause objects to fly around the room and could use their psychic fork -- psychic force to make things happen and things that were quantifiable, scientific and german. she did those kinds of things and she would hold the séances and as i mentioned anything that wasn't tied down. voices would be heard from various parts of the round. she did one séance in boston that five of the top doctors, the table rows and chase somebody out of the room and down the hallway. i know that sounds crazy. i don't know what happens but all i can tell you is that everybody who was there saw the same thing. so she does this kind of thing and conan doyle chanted this
scientific american contest so especially to make a long story short and i don't want to give away too much, she convinces, she basically convinces the entire committee except for houdini. houdini, houdini and nina shoes called marjorie. that was basically their stage name because they wanted to protect her anonymity. most of these other mediums enter the contest because i wanted to become famous because they want to be known. the thing about margaret, she didn't even want attention. so she and houdini are basically headed for showdown because marjorie has sat with the rest of the scientists and they're about to give her this reward. it's picked up by the major newspapers and this is the
summer of 24 were marjorie is on the front page of these newspapers and sense "the new york times" basically declares it the first scientist to be the first medium in history. she looks like she's going to win this award and houdini is appalled because he hasn't sat with her yet. so they called and now is one of the great confrontations i feel one of the great rivalries of the jazz age. because there is this sort of mythic tradition of a male figure, a heroic male figure and houdini was given the same kind of stature as a military hero, of a male figure having to confront the female sorceress. it goes back to king arthur.
she's going to use her supernatural powers. she has to stand up to the physical prowess who was rested to do and what houdini believed was that she was a seductress who could seduce any man and essentially do their bidding as searcy did with odysseus' man. their confrontation and there weren't already has so many different levels to it. in one sense it's kind of a gender war. houdini has the vitality and this potency but what good is that in the darkened séance room but in those days most psychics, not all of them but many of them were women. there was a sense that only women have the receptivity and the sensitivity to the psychics.
but it was interesting because there was a lot of role-playing going on in séance rooms. marjorie went into a trance during her séances and she would channel the spirit of her dead mother. there were certain things she does was not allowed to do. she couldn't swear, although she did. she can go to speakeasies. this was a time in our history when women weren't even does allow to sit on juries. whenever she held séances she would challenge her brother and her brother was this powerful, incredibly vibrant presence. people when they heard his voice said he had more character and more personality than most of the living people that were present. this isn't just houdini versus marjorie.
houdini versus the male that marjorie has channeled. the other thing that's going on here is, and again this can go back to ancient times. any chick greece psychics, there was the oracle of delphi and they were religious leaders and they were women. i shouldn't say they were religious leaders, they were religious figures and they were channeled but they didn't really do anything. they went into a trance and i take in information and the priest would translate for whoever was visiting the oracle. but when a woman actually made things happen, when she used her psychic power to cause objects to fly around the room, when she used her psychic power to seduce men, then she was no longer a
psychic. then she is considered a witch. what houdini was trying to do it recognize when i was researching this book, there was still this animus against which is in this period. a witch had been burned at the stake in ireland recently in 1912 and we are talking 10 years later. so what are the traditional things? you accuse them of having this sexuality and marjorie declared them genuine. he considered her a free lover. the other thing you can accuse which is of during which route, you can accuse them of voodoo and houdini told the newspaper that marjorie was practicing black magic on him and she would make an effigy of him and sticking needles in them and conducting the rituals.
the thing about houdini, he didn't say that she had black magic, only that she was involved with that. he didn't think that she had genuine superpowers but he made these accusations in all the newspapers. the third thing he accused a witch of during which i'll and even more so is -- children and houdini -- i don't think i want to reveal it. it's about as horrible a thing as you can imagine. some people would do with children and basically these orphans. marjorie and her husband were bringing over the source -- orphans from england because they wanted to adopt a male child but apparently -- of these
were all the things that houdini was accusing her of. this orphan thing, this thing with children, at that point he wasn't going after about that publicly but what houdini was trying to do was to which the fire her. it was predominantly a christian country and houdini is trying to turn a christian nation against marjorie by basically casting her as a witch and the kramden's new exactly what was going on. in boston, massachusetts of all places which has a rich tradition of which mongering, so this is also a book about the traditional rivalry. in medieval times it was the magician's job to reverse themselves of which is and to detract them basically.
so that's essentially the setup to the story. i think i should probably -- [laughter] yeah i will stop there. [applause] >> before it opened up to questions, there are a few people here tonight who i really want to thank who are involved with the book. my editor. [applause] he has just done a fantastic job and is a pleasure to work with. i just want to thank her for all she has done for the book. is rick morgan here tonight? wreck it was my first editor. i had the privilege of having
two extras on this book because rick is the editor of the first book who first bought the book. we worked together for years and rick did so much to help shape it and when rick he's now they vice present of scribner. i just feel so lucky to have worked with to the best editors and publishing. [applause] i also want to thank diana mussina. where are you? who has done so much to get this book out for the world and the best publicist and a writer could possibly hope for. she has done incredible work and i want to acknowledge her and danielle crabtree. there you are. [applause]
she is in the back. she has handled marketing for the book and is done just a magnificent job on that. again i loved every moment of working with her. the other person, tina bennett. i don't know if she's here. tina is my agent. i can just tell you i've only worked with one agent but i can honestly tell you she is the best agent in publishing. it was tina's idea to do this as a book. i originally came to her about an idea about astrology and i've never written a book before and every age and i had approached it turned me away or wanted to do something completely different with it. she kind of liked the idea and at that time i was a struggling screenwriter. she asked me what my screenplays were about and i mentioned this houdini marjorie idea. we were just e-mailing at this point that i can just imagine
her of eyes lighting up from her responses. she said this astrology thing, maybe that can be your second book. write me a proposal and i promise you i will make a huge book deal out of it. tina has just been incredible. and i think i would still be an astrologer for warrant for tina. tina's assistant has been working on the project as well. i want to thank her and my research assistant warren who is devoted so much time and energy to this project. those are the people i would like to thank and weaken their due wine and cheese -- you had a question? >> thank you david and congratulations. i can't wait to see what else
you're going to do next. the two-part question, number one how did you find this story or did it find you and what made you compelled to write it other than your agent and the second was there a story in your research that you read about marjorie and houdini that made the hair on your arms and neck stand up and get a chill to the bone? flow is something in your research that gave you the chills? >> you asked this question before. >> don't tell the people at home. >> with regard to your first question, and any houdini biography marjorie at least makes a cameo appearance. she's intertwined with the whole mystique. when i first encountered her in the houdini biography i just
have this feeling of falling in love with the character and fascinated with the character. i kind of believe there hadn't been a book about her. this is bob iger free of marjorie but it is a book that deals largely with her. i just feel she deserves this treatment. the only people who are writing about her was this houdini biographer to solve it in houdini's eyes and i never thought she had received their treatment and also people don't associate occultism with the jazz era. it was such a fascinating period there are a number of things. when i was researching this i couldn't believe her gave me that feeling you're talking about. i have to say when i read about it again and again i still can't get over that initial séance i
mentioned earlier. imagine that you are sitting in a circle and the room is pitch black and your hands are on the table and you feel the table start to tremor. you feel that there is an energy and viewed on the table and it's almost becoming animated and starting to shift slightly. and then there is a sense of it rising and how somebody asked for light so they can see what's going on at that time the table rises and lurches toward one particular person in the room and that person is so frightened he gets up and leaves the room and the table follows him. again i mention this earlier, all i can say is that it's in the séance record signed by five of the top scientists.
i don't know what happened but that would scare me. [laughter] anybody else? i'm sorry, rebecca. >> he said that marjorie channeled her brother and i was just wondering if she lost him in the war? >> that's a really good question. i should have clarified that. houdini was very close to his mother and devastated by her loss. marjorie, the love of her life was her brother. one thing i will say about marjorie she married into this society. her brother was a row of road worker. incredibly handsome, magnetic young man and he died in this horrific railroad accident.
marjorie had this incredible spirit and she was eyes up the pressure never really recovered from that loss. he died in 1911. he died shortly before the beginning of the war so houdini's mother died in 1912. they could identify with people who had lost loved ones during the war. one of the things that people who knew walter was they couldn't understand, assuming that marjorie -- in some ways margie would make the story more adjusting because houdini would go before the public and he would try to humiliate her. he would try to demonstrate how he could do through magic which he supposedly did with her supernatural powers. but houdini was in incredible athlete. the greatest magician in the
world. how was this person from boston able to do these things that only a great magician could do? so in answer to your question, her brother did not die during the war but it had the same effect on her. [inaudible] he did believe in meditation and i just wondered if was probably a little too early but did you read anything about him? >> you can't write a book about psychic phenomena without mentioning william jennings. and the google who became a judge was a protége of william
james. william james headed harvard psychology the forum google. william james, he died before the events in this book take place but he was such a strong influence. all psychic investigators think he is a great intellect in the united states. this was before the war. he got interested to the point where was more an intellectual interest but he even said it was possible to communicate with the dead. he was more famous than his brother henry james was for his novel. he did a lot in making psychic phenomena of field which was university study. harbored in those days, that was
the most open and most respected and caring on the psychic -- because of william james. it's not that way anymore. also from your point i started to make, mention something and i want to finish the thought about what marjorie was doing. bryan james did study these mediums messages. marjorie was a physical medium and again somebody asked me if it was possible to restate the scientific american. there are no physical mediums today who would be willing to stand up to that kind of public scrutiny. the last one i know who did come of this was on the johnny carson show. i think it was the early 1960s , a guy named jerry
dollar. he was able to supposedly bend spoons the psychic force. it's sort of a testament to the decline in physical mediumship. margaret would be put in a severe -- their cabinet and the spare cabinet would spontaneously combust around her. she would as i mentioned cost tables to chase people in manifest apparitions. johnny carson was a magician and johnny carson used to trick the magicians. he goes on the johnny carson show and carson had consulted the most well-known psychic and he tenets that don't let him anywhere near his own spoon. so carson, did basically was the
most awkward moment television history. the entire country was watching in the skies on national television and everybody is staring at the spoon and nothing is happening. gary toler was completely offended and that was 50 years ago. his stuff coldly here tonight? she would know more about this than i would. she is the granddaughter of one of the great psychics of the same era as marjorie. her name is eileen and she knew marjorie and she makes a cameo appearance in the book. eileen was the most well-known of the time. eileen was a genuine medium so she would know more about physical mediums and what they are doing today. talk to her. but that would remind you
standing, that there are physical mediums today. [inaudible] [inaudible] wanted people to apply scientific methodology to the strange phenomena. she wanted to know how she did what she did. even though i grew up in it it's like strange and i'm still trying to figure it out. and having read a copy of the book it's a fascinating right.
>> by the way her grandmother eileen believed that marjorie had supernatural powers. she believed she cheated sometimes but she also believed she was a genuine and powerful psychic. [inaudible] >> we have time for one more question. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> does anyone else have a question? [laughter] i will say this, i have gone through such pains to write a book where i really believe that it's about% think that
journalistic objectivity and i don't want, i just feel that if i gave my opinion as to whether or not marjorie was genuine or whether she was a fraud, it would almost destroy this whole aura of the book. it's not about me telling people what i think so i would rather withhold that judgment. but there was somebody has to have a lighthearted question. >> if there was a movie who would you like to play the role of marjorie in the movie? >> it's funny because we are having that conversation all the time now. >> not whoopi goldberg, please. >> the actresses, the thing about marjorie was if you look
at the photographs of her she doesn't look stunningly beautiful, does she? every temporary account that you read -- contemporary account the rate goes on about her beauty and how attractive she was and i think a lot of it came from the inside. so when a lot of actresses, their names are thrown around and there are these people who are overly beautiful, it doesn't quite work for me as i think of someone like renee zellweger who is older than marjorie goodwin but when the role calls for she can be attractive. so i can't say there's one person. i remember when i first heard about marjorie, something about her reminded me of a young jessica lange but there are a lot of actresses who i can think of right now. i can't think of anyone. do you have any idea of?
>> the one that starred in the royal affair and she has been in fight -- five movies this year. she's amazing. she's danish. >> do you have any ideas? [laughter] [applause] >> david congratulations on this incredible adaptation. thank you so much for coming. david will be over on the corner signing books. we have a reception planned. when you get up, fold your chairs against the wall and that will open up the space. thanks again for coming. [inaudible conversations]