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Bill Zarchy – Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale (Virtual Event)

February 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Bill Zarchy’s debut novel Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.

On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a park near San Francisco—during the summer of 2014. Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

“I grew up fascinated by the presidents—and Washington in particular,” recalls author Bill Zarchy. “George became my touchstone for trying to understand the alluring technology of my mid-century boyhood—aviation, photography, trains, cars, rockets, satellites, television, movies: How would I explain this to George Washington, if he were to come back to life right now?” Zarchy continues, “I originally thought of this as a comic, fish-out-of-water story, but as I learned more about my subject, so much emerged about George: A charismatic leader, but a soft-spoken, uninspiring orator. A courageous man, who endured the burden of dental pain throughout his life. A powerful, ambitious man, but a kind, gentle husband and stepfather. A 6’ 2” giant, at a time when most men were much shorter. A skillful horseman, a graceful dancer, a man’s man who enjoyed the company of women. Perhaps most significantly, like most of the Founding Fathers, he was a slave owner, though history establishes that Washington, privately, had at least a dawning awareness that slavery was evil and immoral.”

Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things. His career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies. His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American CinematographerEmmy, and other trade magazines. Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.


February 22, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST
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Book Passage By-the-Bay
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