Hordes of book lovers flocked to Grass Valley yesterday for my appearance at the Book Seller. Okay, so I exaggerate. Only two people came out to hear me talk about my newest book, Wheels of Change.
Now, to some it might seem a tad discouraging to drive two hours to appear at a signing and have only two people show up, but it wasn’t discouraging or disappointing, at least not for me. I had a great time, and this was due to the two people who showed up: Georgeanne and Don Fultz, pictured with me above.
Formerly of Santa Cruz, now of Grass Valley, Don is a one-time hot rodder who has already read Wheels of Change and loved it. This was the email he sent me on Tuesday:
Dear Mr. Nelson: I just purchased “Wheels of Change” yesterday. I can’t put it down. As a 50’s Hot Rod builder, it brings back memories of my youth and reminds me of the stories my father (a mechanic from the early ’20s) told of the souped up Model T’s.
I look forward to meeting you tomorrow. I am buying a second book for my 18 year old grandson, Alexander Rossi, who is racing GP2 in Abu Dabai this weekend. Alexander won The BMW World Championship in 2008 and was Rookie of the year in the GP3 series this year. His goal of becoming a Formula One driver (the first American in many years) comes closer with each race.
Your book will give him a much better grasp of the early history of motor sports than anything I have seen. I never knew about Phil Hill’s early life until I read your book. Many thanks for such a well researched and well written book.—Don Fultz
After spending three years of my life to write this book, it was quite gratifying to hear from Don, as you can imagine. I was equally happy to meet him and his wife and spend time with them in the cozy downstairs book nook at the Book Seller on historic Mill Street in Grass Valley. We talked cars, books, politics, movies, history and whatever else came to mind for more than an hour. And Don isn’t just showing grandfatherly pride in his grandson. Alexander Rossi is one of the best young race drivers in the world, and he and Georgeanne support his career financially and every other way, often flying to see him race in Mexico or wherever he happens to be competing.
Next stop for me on the Wheels of Change Road Trip is the California Historical Society on Nov. 4 in San Francisco, followed the next day by the Oakland Rotary and then Bookshop Benicia on Sunday, Nov. 8. Even if no one else shows up at these events, I’ll be there!