When Worlds Collide: Qwikpick comes home

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After all the book readings and signings that I’ve done, tonight I head for Christiansburg, the real-life inspiration for the town of Crickenburg in Qwikpick. (Reading and juggling begins at 7 p.m. at the library, if you can make it.)

 The library is only a short distance from the site of the 50-gallon drum of Banana Puree. (Which disappeared a few years ago.) And it’s right across the street from the (former) Crickenburg Middle School.

To get there I’ll be driving right past Crab Creek Estates trailer park and over Crab Creek itself. I’ll pass Farmer Don’s pumpkin fields. (His real name is Dan, but he really did get pushed out to make way for more development.) I’ll pass the ominous Wal-Mart and the Taco Bell where the story ends.

And yes, I’ll go right by the site of the Qwikpick itself. Is there really a funky, slightly worn-out, biscuit-selling convenience store there? Sorry, that’s a secret. You’ll have to visit Crickenburg yourself to find out.

So, will a real Lyle, Dave or Marilla show up tonight? We’ll see. I’d love for a kid to read the book and tell me, “Yes, this is what it’s like to grow up here.”

By the way, the map in the book is not completely accurate, so local kids couldn’t really use it to sneak into the sewage treatment plant.

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