I seem to be attending my share of fancy dinners lately. First The Carle Honors, and then last Monday I was lucky enough to snag an invitation to a dinner at Tavern on the Green to honor Random House Children's Books publisher Chip Gibson. The publisher of our adult division is good friends with him and purchased a table, and invited four of us from the young readers division to attend. I had never been to Tavern on the Green and was excited to go, although a bit intimidated as well. I'm used to attending children's books events where I recognize at least 30% of the attendees. In this case, aside from my colleagues, a few RH folk who were familiar, and a few friends from Writer's House and the Sheldon Fogelman Agency, I didn't recognize anyone. One of us remarked, "Who are all of these men?!" as we were used to these types of events being dominated by women. But I think the event was actually dominated by folks in adult publishing. *gasp*
The first speaker was Martha Stewart, which was a real treat. She came onto the stage holding a full martini glass and wearing a suit with a red tie. "I'm drinking Gibsons tonight!" she declared, holding up her glass. "What's in these things...gin or something? I've never had a Gibson, and tonight I've had three!" she was somewhat slurring her words. I was a little alarmed for her. But I think it was just a shtick, because she launched into her talk and was fine. She was funny (she was dressed like Chip), charming, friendly, and got a big laugh when she casually mentioned, "When I got out of jail..."
Other speakers included Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne and our own Michael Pietsch who played guitar and sang a song he wrote about having a "Chip on our shoulder." Hilarious.
They showed a video highlighting his career, and all of the fun parties/events he's been responsible for, especially the annual Random House Halloween party. One speaker described him as being avuncular, which delighted me to no end, as I'm a bit obsessed with that word.
The dinner benefited the Goddard Riverside Community Center. From their website, they describe themself as "one of New York City’s leading human service organizations. We work to meet people’s basic needs – food, shelter, education – and to bring them together for mutual aid, social action, and to celebrate our richness as a society."
Being there made me think...could that/would that be me someday? Will I ever get to the point in my career where I'm celebrated at a big fancy dinner? Would I even want that? To be honest, I don't know how I feel about that. I think I'll just focus on my current job for now. But congratulations to Chip Gibson. I've never met him, but after that dinner, I think I'd like to someday.