The Alma Cafe Gigs


The 2012 leg of Roger’s book tour came to an end this past weekend with Friday and Saturday night gigs at the Alma Café. From left to right Roger Lucey, Ronan Skillern, Terrence Scarr, and Richard Tait hanging on the front stoop of the Café as people arrive for the show and a meal. Ronan is a percussionist who plays tabla and a myriad of other instruments; Terrence is an old friend of Roger’s who also played at our Cape Town wedding. Last weekend he played bass, tuba, electric violin and viola; Richard owns the Café and did the sound engineering and vocals.


Retha and Richard preparing the first course in the kitchen. Check out his jeans. He patches them himself by hand and has collected/adorned about 15 pairs over 25 years or so.

You can see the vibe from these pre-show pics. Roger was originally booked for Saturday night, December 8th but Richard called him a few weeks ago while we were on the road IMG_1390to ask if he could also play Friday, December 7th as Saturday the 8th was fully booked. Roger, Ronan, and Terrence already confirmed a 4-night gig at the Alma during the first week of March 2013. And that is the way it has been going. Roger has been asked to book return dates at most of the venues that he played. The only regular complaint that we’ve heard is that he doesn’t have any CDs to sell. He will begin recording with Jo’burg IMG_1389musician Brendan Jury at the end of December so a disc will soon be in the works.


Audiences love the DALAI LAMA song ( and the tuba makes it even more fun. Saturday night Terrence segued into a raucous version of “Happy Birthday” for our good friend Viola Lengner (red blouse).

I hope you enjoy the gallery of photos attached below. There will be more blog updates in the future but this is the end of the Book Adventure blog. 2012 has been a momentous year for both of us. The latter half felt like riding a wave that never broke. It is marvelous and amazing to sustain one’s balance, momentum, and good spirits for half a year. This will be a fairly quiet week. I’m actually writing from the Office of Home Affairs waiting room. I’m holding ticket 6062 and the woman holding 6058 is currently at the counter. When my turn comes, I will pick up my official two-year residency permit. Whooohoooo! Afterwards we’ll go to the market and buy ingredients for Roger’s mom’s vegetable pickle recipe. We’ll make a big batch of “the 2012 Book Launch Pickle” and give it to friends as “a little happy” for Christmas.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and peaceful holiday season.   Love, Karen





Book Lounge launch


The Book Lounge launch in Cape Town last night kind of felt like parties at 1014 Alabama Ave–great food, plentiful drinks and a boisterous welcome-back-Roger vibe. Extra chairs were needed to accommodate the crowd which fell silent as Roger began reading from chapter 8 describing the bike ride to the Durban rickshaw sheds to buy dagga.

Book Lounge

The show (intro, readings and songs) lasted about 50 minutes. Mervyn Sloman planned to open the floor to Q&A afterer 30 minutes but instead asked Rogge to continue playing. Literally, Mervyn asked Roger to NOT stop playing. Though slightly bemused by the clutter of cables, speakers, and instruments transforming his bookshop into a performance space, Mervyn and the BL staff seemed to thoroughly enjoy the novel launch of BACK IN FROM THE ANGER.


Documentary photographer and MALS graduate Paul Weinberg was there; as were Gary and Pela Gereffi from Duke; Chloe Rolfes, Roger’s original mother-in-law; people from our neighborhood; friends and lots of other folks whose name and connections I don’t remember. It was a lovely, warm Cape Town reception.




The book is on the shelves!

Rogge next to the book display

The book started appearing in the shops at the end of October.  We didn’t even know it was on the shelf until friends started calling in sightings of book displays all over the country.  Jacana press listed the hard copy and the e-book on its website today.  The official launch takes place in Johannesburg next Friday, November 16, followed by the first Jo’burg concert on Saturday night.  We catch the Shosholoza Meyl train this Thursday at 11:30 AM and arrive in Jo’burg the next afternoon.  Wooohhhooooo!  I love traveling by train and recently watched Hitchcock’s North by Northwest in anticipation.

We’ve been a whirlwind of activity since we arrived in Cape Town on October 17.  So when people welcome me to the country and ask me what I think about living here, I really can’t say anything. I haven’t had time to digest or reflect on anything yet.  Until yesterday that is, when a young paint salesman asked me how the paint business was in America. I thought about Home Depot and Lowe’s and assured  him that the paint business was healthy.

I’ll write soon and send pics from Jo’burg.  You can also check out Rogge’s face book page for more info.

Love,   Karen

Karen painting front garden gate.

Rogge installing the new gate

Rogge looking out the new gate