Publishing a book is a bit like sending a toy boat into the ocean. You don’t know how far it will travel, or whether it will sink instead.
But I can now boast that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has a copy of Boathouse Row as does CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who hails from Philly’s suburbs. And at least two copies have found their way to Australia, where a bloke collects rowing books.
Last week, Joe Morgan, a Philadelphia rower who fell for the sport while at St. Josephs Preparatory School years ago, handed Prince Michael of Kent a copy. Joe had stopped by my house a few weeks earlier and we had pondered the inscription for Prince Michael, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth and a big booster of sports.
I believe I wrote, “For your love of rowing and your enduring support of the Renenham Club – some history from across the Pond.”
Joe also gave the Prince a copy of the Bachelors Barge Club’s 150th year reunion book. Founded in 1853, It’s the oldest rowing club in the country in continual existence.
Along with Joe was David Lagan, a former LaSalle College High School and Temple University rower.
Boathouse Row has been buoyed by thousands of who have bought it since its publication by Temple University Press in late 2016, and it has gone through several printings.
Now let’s hope some of those readers, especially Mayor Kenney, step up to help fund the dredging of the Schuylkill River so rowing can continue. Early this month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would not dredge the Schuylkill, as it has for many years. About $5 million needs to be raised. Stay tuned for how that will be accomplished.
Meanwhile, let me know of interesting places where my book has landed.