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Jimmy Z and the Turkeys

I never met Jimmy Z in person. I wish I had. Jimmy died a few weeks ago.

What I know about Jimmy Z I learned from his brother, my close friend for many years. A few days ago his brother and I talked about Jimmy’s death. Jimmy Z lived to be an octogenarian, and consequently many stories about him exist, most of them funny as all get out. I requested that my friend tell me again about Jimmy and the Thanksgiving turkeys.

Many years ago when Jimmy Z was 14 or so, households had their milk delivered in glass bottles with cardboard tops. The milkman delivered milk, cream, and butter orders to the people on his route. Back in the 40s, most houses had an exterior milk delivery chute on the side of the house. A simple door latch allowed the milkman to place the milk bottles and butter inside. The chute had a door on the inside of the house, usually in the kitchen or pantry.

Jimmy’s friend, whose father owned a milk company and also drove one of the milk delivery routes, decided to help his hard-working dad one Thanksgiving Eve by driving his route. He asked Jimmy Z to help. By 2 a.m. the truck was loaded with the products previously ordered by customers. The son drove the milk truck, and at each stop he relayed the order for each customer to Jimmy. Jimmy Z would open the rear door of the truck, select the correct amount of product, run to the house, and place it in the milk chute.

Near the final stop of about 50 deliveries, the driver turned to look in the back of the truck. Then he looked again, bewildered.

“Jimmy,” he exclaimed, “where did all those turkeys come from?”<br>Whereupon Jimmy explained that the naked turkeys were inside quite a few milk chutes. “I knew they must be thank you gifts for your dad.”

“No! They’re not thank you gifts for Dad! That’s how the women keep their Thanksgiving turkeys cold if they don’t have room in the refrigerator!"

Rest in Peace, Jimmy.

News for Youse

I’m pleased to announce that The Girl in the Orange Maillot, to be published March 15th, is now available for preorder in both paperback and hardcover versions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

What advantage does a reader have by preordering The Girl in the Orange Maillot?

● You can buy the book now instead of waiting for the book to come out March 15th. Life gets busy, and by March 15th you may have forgotten you wanted to buy this novel. You may preorder it in person at the bookstore, or online.

● Many book stores including Amazon offer a “preorder price guarantee” which means if you pre-order The Girl in the Orange Maillot and the price increases or decreases after publication, you will get the best price. If you preorder, the book store will honor the lowest price.

● Full Disclosure: Preorders are very important to authors. When you preorder a book, it tells bookstores that people want this book. This prompts bookstores to stock more copies of the book, which of course means more people see it and buy it.

● Books that are sold during the first week of a book’s publication show a publisher there is interest in the title. Preorders count toward first-week sales, so it can give a huge boost to a title when many orders are placed before the book’s publication date.

● Like all authors, I love libraries. Could you consider requesting that your local library preorder The Girl in the Orange Maillot? I would appreciate it if you supported your favorite authors by supporting your local libraries. Libraries are the beating hearts of our communities and we would be lost without them. Long live the librarians.

● Please consider preordering The Girl in the Orange Maillot. If you find its message compelling, tell others about it. Thank you.

● For the Las Cruces area readers, COAS Bookstore on Main Street has invited me to have a book signing Saturday, March 19th from 10 am to 12 noon. I hope to see you there!

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