Going Home | News, Sports, Work

– Photo by Hans Madsen

Cindy Haynes of Phoenix, left, shares a laugh with author Lisa Aveleira of Iowa City Saturday afternoon during a signing of her book “Get Me To The Abbey” at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Center. Haynes is Avelira’s sister and she flew in just for the signing.

Iowa City author Lisa Avelira’s book signing Get Me To The Abbey Saturday afternoon at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Center quickly turned into much more of a gathering than a book signing.

She knew almost everyone present, and they knew and remembered her.

After all, she is a proud native of Fort Dodge.

“The last time I was here was for my class reunion, it was years ago, I was in the class of the 80s,” Avelira said.

Among those in the audience were friends, family, a teacher or two and, surprise, Cindy Haynes of Phoenix.

– Photo by Hans Madsen

Iowa City author Lisa Avelira shares a laugh with the audience Saturday afternoon during a book signing for her book, “Get Me To The Abbey,” at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Center.

“I came in last night,” Haynes said. “I was driving this morning.”

Aveleira smiled widely when she saw her. Haynes is her sister.

“I had no idea it was coming,” Avelira said.

Haynes was ready with a joke.

“I had to come all this way to get my book signed,” she said.

– Photo by Hans Madsen

Author Lisa Avelira of Iowa City, left, looks at a cardinal gifted to her by Joan Meyer of Fort Dodge Saturday afternoon during a signing of her book, “Get Me To The Abbey,” at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Center. The bird plays a role in a significant passage of the book. It was made by Dan Ewing of Fort Dodge.

Avelleyra’s book, a memoir of her time in an alcohol treatment center, focuses on the stories, situations and colorful people she was with during her time there.

One of the chapters talks about cardinals.

“On my second day, a cardinal landed at my window,” she said. “I immediately thought of my mother. A second male cardinal also landed. Naturally I thought that my father is there too, they found me, they know where I am. The cardinal was a thread in the whole affair.

Part of her motivation to write the book was to share the colorful personalities she met.

“As I wrote, it became a labor of love and I wanted people to get to know these people as I knew them,” she said. “They helped me get sober for five and a half years.”

– Photo by Hans Madsen

Author Lisa Avelira of Iowa City, left, signs a copy of her book for Melanie Vogt of Fort Dodge during a signing Saturday afternoon for her book “Get Me To The Abbey” at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Center.

Joan Meyer of Fort Dodge already had a copy that she brought to the signing. She also presented Avelira with a statue of the cardinal made by Dan Ewing of Fort Dodge.

“I met Lisa in 1985.” Mayer said. “I have known her for 37 years.

She had already read the book.

“It’s dog-eared, but I’ll sign it” she said. “I have to get my family to buy copies.”

Melanie Vogt of Fort Dodge picked up her copy at the signing.

– Photo by Hans Madsen

Author Lisa Avelira of Iowa City drew a crowd Saturday afternoon for a book signing of her work, “Get Me To The Abbey,” at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Center. Aveleira is a native of Fort Dodge.

“I haven’t seen Lisa in 40 years” she said. “I’m proud of her.”

Her review of Aveleyra’s book?

“The book is amazing, the book was touching. I cried, I laughed,” Vogt said.

This brought a smile to Aveleira’s face.

“That’s the best thing I can hear,” she said.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Leave a Comment