Book Signing February 1, 2018

This book thing is really going to happen. Impromptu Friday Nights – A Guide To Supper Clubs is being published by Morgan James Publishing on January 30, 2018. There will be a book signing:

Where: Novel Bookstore (The Old Davis Kidd)

When: Thursday February 1, 2018

Time: 6 pm

Address: 387 Perkins Extd Memphis TN 38117

Much of the inspiration for the book comes from my father who was a College dean and communications professor. In an early life dad had been an actor and directed plays. He used to say that actors had it made: They were never out of work or unemployed, “They were between engagements”. Translated, it sounded good. When I retired I decided that it sounded better to say I was writing a book versus the truth that I was retired and played a lot of golf.

A buddy of mine, the renowned chef Lucien Vendome asked me years ago if I ever thought about writing a book about supper clubs. He said lots of people write cookbooks, but what you and Susan do with supper clubs is pretty unique and you are pretty good at it. That led to the writing effort which I had assumed would fall into the category of self published pieces that I would be lucky to get my 95 year old mother to read. Then I worked with an editor Amanda Iles who was impressed with the book ( a lot of the quality goes to her efforts) and that I should try to get it published. That led eventually to David Hancock of Morgan James Publishing getting interested and the rest as they say is history.

The irony is that my dad who could really write never really got published. (Watch out Sigmund Freud.) His major efforts were as a speechwriter for friends who were politicians. He did a lot of writing for his childhood friend John Marchi who was state senator in New York for 50 years and had ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York City twice. Most notably losing to John V. Lindsay a debonair politician with a patrician manner in 1969. Another irony was that Marchi was a conservative Republican and my dad was a liberal Democrat, but I digress. A few years ago in Marchi’s obituary the New York Times slammed and complemented my dad in one sentence by saying: “The senator, who often came across as thoughtful but not an artful phrasemaker, (A slam to his speechwriter)  surprised supporters, remarking that Mr. Lindsay harbored “delusions of adequacy.” (Definitely  dad’s line)

I can remember my dad and Marchi laughing over the phone discussing Lindsay who was a liberal, handsome, bon vivant “Yaley” versus Marchi’s image as the practical, hardworking, New York City conservative. The truth is that whenever dad and John got together, there was laughter involved.

Getting back to Impromptu Friday Nights – A Guide to Supper Clubs. My real goal for this book is to provide millennials and any other demographic with a roadmap to have fun with supper clubs. Hopefully, it will also generate a chuckle of two.

If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at and be on the look out for my book. Morgan James Publishing has the hard copy coming out January 30, 2018.


Starting Supper Clubs on College Campuses

Supper clubs are just a great way to meet new people. Saturday night was great example. Kim and Jim Robison hosted at their home. The evening was made particularly fun as their daughter Caroline and her boyfriend Matt, students at the University of Arkansas filled in as subs. It was great to be with old friends Sue & Jon Berry as well getting to meet new people.

Check out this video of the salad prep with a special video bomb cameo from the Robison’s dachshunds

While Susan and I have been in supper clubs for years we didn’t start until after college. We spent our college years in Upstate NY close to Montreal. A big time for us was going to Montreal for Chinese food. To this day we compare all egg rolls to Teen Hong’s. The waiter would be baffled when we would order 10 extra egg rolls and would explain “Two come with dinner”. Our plan was to bring them back for dinner during the week. Somehow they would never make it back getting eaten on the way home after a night of bar hopping. When I think about all the drinking and driving on icy roads my roommate Iles’ words have special meaning. He would always say:

“The lord protects fools and drunks…we have double coverage”

Supper clubs on college campuses are a lot safer option where students can avoid drinking and driving and still enjoy socializing with friends.

If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at and be on the look out for my book Impromptu Friday Nights a Guide to Supper Clubs. Morgan James Publishing published the Kindle-Version on September 5, 2017 and the hard copy coming out January 30, 2018.

Finding the Right People

Getting people who mesh well together is always a challenge. One benefit of supper clubs is coming across all kinds of people. The good news is that you get to meet people. The bad news is that the chances of them being a great fit are pretty slim. One of the beauties of my supper club experience is that my wife and I have used the more formal supper club, where there are a lot of people, to find the smaller group that we really wanted to be friends with. In the end, dealing with a few jerks can be worth it if you get to know some very interesting people.

The solutions on how to find people to participate in a Supper Club are broad ranging:

  • Neighborhood groups
    • One of the easiest ways to find people and conveniently located.
    • The Classic Supper Club model is based on our neighborhood. We have a neighborhood association that publishes a newsletter. There is a section that advertises participation in the supper club. I have actually heard of people that bought a house in our neighborhood because they knew about the supper club.
  • Facebook and Instagram Friends
    • Social media is a great way to stay connected as well as getting the message out about a supper club.
  • Work Colleagues
    • We all spend quite a bit of time with the people we work with. The subject of socializing over a meal is very easy to interject. When I lived in Delaware, I traveled with a guy I worked with. We would dine together on a Wednesday night and the subject of my supper club would come up. It didn’t take long for him to want to be part of the Saturday night supper club, where I would try to replicate the dishes we shared at a restaurant the previous Wednesday.
  • Church groups
  • School groups

The supper clubs I have been involved with have led to real friendships. We have formed clubs from the wide array of sources listed above and have learned there is no one right way to find the right people. Trial and error is the only way. Going through a few bad experiences makes you appreciate the good ones.

Finding the right people has some real benefits. While most of us know a thing or two about wine, it is great to have a wine and beer experts in the group.

My friend, Scott, is the perfect example. He is excellent at paring the right wine with the menu. Scott, like many wine “experts,” has an excellent wine collection and is great at offering up a few (or 10) delicious bottles from his cellar. Scott was such a good customer of the local wine store affectionately named “Germantown Baptist Wine and Liquor” by Scott’s wife Kathy that when he moved, the wine store flew their flag at half-mast for weeks.

In my neighborhood, we are also blessed to have a “beer guy” as well. Tom Schoelkopf worked for few different beer companies and is a great guy to have at a party. You can count on him to bring a good selection of classic and craft product. For many of our supper club events, people are asked to bring an appetizer. Tom is famous for asking, “Do you want me to cook or should I just bring beer?” Somehow, the answers are pretty consistent

It can be difficult to find the right people for a supper club. A good thing about being part of a larger group is that you get to meet a lot of people. Some you like and some, not so much.

If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at and be on the look out for my book Impromptu Friday Nights a Guide to Supper Clubs. The book is coming out via Morgan James Publishing on  January 30, 2018. I will also be having a book signing at Novel Bookstore at 387 Perkins Extd., Memphis TN 38117 at 6 pm on Thursday February 1, 2018