Fair warning for you headed to Walker Percy Weekend this Friday and Saturday in St. Francisville: the forecast is dismal. The weather folks say it’s going to rain all weekend. They might be wrong. Yesterday Baton Rouge suffered a monsoon, but St. Francisville, only 30 miles to the north, stayed perfectly dry. So we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Bring your umbrellas.
Our fearless festival leader, Missy Couhig, is selling WPW umbrellas at The Conundrum, her bookstore on Ferdinand Street which doubles as festival headquarters. Supplies are limited, so get there early.
We had a festivalgoer from Texas call yesterday to ask if St. Francisville, which sits on the Mississippi River, was in danger of flooding, given that the river is in flood stage now. Not at all! The town is build on a bluff high above the river. We don’t flood, not even under torrential rainfall. You’ll be fine.
By the way, Miles Higgins, who coordinates the Bourbon Stroll for the festival, told me yesterday the names of the four bourbon cocktails they’ll be serving this year: Mint Julep (following Walker Percy’s Uncle Will’s recipe), Kentucky Mule (a Moscow Mule, but made with bourbon), St. Francisville Sour, and Frozen Peach Old Fashioned.
Tickets are still available for last-minute festivalgoers for everything except the lectures on Saturday. See the Walker Percy Weekend website to buy them. I’m thrilled to say that after breaking his leg at last year’s event, our dear friend Franklin Evans has returned, and is already in St. Francisville hanging out.
By the way, authors and presenters Harrison Scott Key and Jessica Hooten Wilson will be signing their books at The Conundrum on Saturday, as will Your Working Boy. I’ve not read Jessica’s book on Flannery O’Connor and Dostoevsky, but I have read Harrison’s memoir of his Southern childhood, The World’s Largest Man, and it’s funnier than anything I’ve ever read not written by P.G. Wodehouse or John Kennedy Toole. Not kidding.