Friends of Freddy will gather at the Arne Nixon Center from March 26-27, 2011 (date changed from March 19-20), to celebrate that pig o'their hearts, Freddy, the talking animal hero of 25 children's books written by the late Walter R. Brooks and published by Alfred A. Knopf from 1927 to 1958, the year of the author's death.
This gathering is free for members and $25 for non-members (Friends of Freddy membership info: http://www.freddythepig.org/MemOrder.html). RSVP are required by calling 559-278-8116 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the Freddy books, Brooks was the author of more than 200 short stories for adults, 20 of them featuring Ed the Talking Horse, whose adventures fromed the basis of the kitsch classic TV show of the 60s, "Mr. Ed."
Founded by Toronto playwright Dave Carley in 1984, this literary fan club has grown from a stalwart three of four to more than 600 members throughout the U.S., Canada, and England. Beginning in 1986, the Club began holding biennial conventions in New York, near Roxbury, where Brooks lived the last ten years of his life. The original whimsical purpose of the club was to "spread the names and fame of Walter R. Brooks and Freddy the Pig throughout the known universe." More seriously the Club was dedicated to seeing the Freddy books back in print and readily available for new generations of readers. Their dream came true in 1998 when The Overlook Press began reissuing the series. As a result, all the Freddy titles are once again in print in beautiful hardvover facsimile editions.
The Fresno gathering will be held, in part, to celebrate the gift of Michael Cart's collection of Freddy books and related materials as well as both Brooks' personal files and Cart's as well. The latter is Brooks' biographer; his book Talking Animals and Others: The Life and Work of Walter R. Brooks was published by Overlook in 2009. It will also celebrate is the 125th anniversary of Brooks' birth and the 25th anniversary of the first Friends of Freddy convention.