Terra Elan McVoy is an author, bookseller, and former Programming Director of the AJC DBF.
The AJC Decatur Book Festival has given me so many memories and experiences over the last ten years, from meeting Jonathan Franzen (he complimented my dress!) to leading the children’s parade with Loren Long beside a giant tractor, and lots of other amazing things in between.
My favorite one, however, is from our very first year in 2006. It was Sunday afternoon at the children’s stage, which was only a tiny fraction of a tent space compared to the glory it is now. We had the whole area packed with families, when of course, it started to pour. Everyone crowded under the tent as best they could, and we tried to sing away the downpour with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and other tunes.
The rain would not let up, however, so eventually we unclipped the siding from the tent and created one long “umbrella,” marching everyone under the tarpaulin in a giant snake across the parking lot to Little Shop of Stories (which at the time was on McDonough, under Eddie’s Attic). The store was immediately filled with soaking festival-goers, but we set up the next presenter in the front room of the shop and kept on going with our programming.
That’s the kind of thing I think of when DBF comes to mind: a community working together in innovative ways to keep the love and enjoyment of literature alive, no matter what!
—Terra Elan McVoy