Keeping Company in Glendale

Diana Pavlac Glyer and Will Vaus Students in Narnia costumes

Diana launched the paperback edition of The Company They Keep with a book signing at Glendale‘s Mystery and Imagination Bookstore on October 25. She appeared in tandem with Will Vaus, who is doing a tour for his youth-oriented biography of C.S. Lewis, The Professor of Narnia.

A lively crowd of more than 40 came out to hear and meet the authors, including a whole batch of high schoolers in Narnian costume, the students of John Long, one of Diana’s former research assistants.

We’ve eagerly awaited the paperback edition, which is just coming out now (announced for October 30). The publisher arranged an expedited shipment of copies for the event.

Will Vaus blogged about it afterwards, and posted some nice pictures.

The Professor of Narnia teamed up with Inklings expert Diana Pavlac Glyer, author of The Company They Keep, for a special Narnia Night at the Mystery & Imagination Bookshop in Glendale, California last night. We were joined by many and various Narnia characters. . . .

Thanks to John King Tarpinian for connecting us with the bookstore. (John himself had an excused absence, to escort Ray Bradbury to a showing of King Kong at the Alex Theatre down the street.)

The only thing we wish might have worked out in a luckier way would have been for our friend Joseph Bentz, who attended the signing, to have realized right then that Will Vaus is the son of J. Arthur Vaus, gangster-turned-evangelist. Bentz is currently writing a book about conversion stories, and the elder Vaus is one of his subjects.

Will penned an entire book about his dad, My Father Was a Gangster. Will also met the local crime kingpin:

My father worked for the infamous Hollywood gangster, Mickey Cohen, during the late 1940’s. Despite the fact that my father quit organized crime in 1949 he and Cohen remained friends. Thus it was that when Cohen got out of jail in 1972 I got to meet him and spend time with him on a number of occasions. Cohen was the epitomy of respectability around women and children. In fact, he gave me a signed photograph addressed to “my little buddy Billy”.

Coincidentally, this week the Los Angeles Times is running a seven-part series on the LAPD’s old Gangster Squad and its efforts to nail flamboyant gangster Mickey Cohen. Vaus, mentioned in the second and third parts, worked for the Cohen organization as a wiretapper.

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3 thoughts on “Keeping Company in Glendale

  1. Thanks for the nice summation of a wonderful evening Mike! I think your friend writing about conversion did find out who I am; at least he bought a copy of the gangster book. Please let him know I’d love to receive a copy of his work when he is finished.


  2. Pingback: (more) Happy Hallo War of the Worlds | The Crotchety Old Fan

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