He was Archie Bunker, the politically incorrect bigot of TV's "All in the Family," who picked on his wife and feared anyone different. But we loved him anyway, because actor Carroll O'Connor played him with a streak of vulnerability we all understood. "But for a trick of fate, we could be Archie," we thought, possibly feeling guilty and superior at the same time.
The 73-year-old O'Connor, who, after an incredible career that earned him five Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes and a Peabody, recently announced his retirement from acting and has written a searing memoir, "I Think I'm Outta Here," published this month by Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster.
O'Connor will discuss and sign his book at 2 p.m. Saturday at Borders, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.
Local author Frances Laurence has researched the lives of nonconformist 19th-century female scholars, saints and sinners who masqueraded as men, won the vote, robbed stage coaches and circled the globe. Their tales are gathered in her book, "Maverick Women," just published by Manifest Publications of Carpinteria. Laurence will sign at 3 p.m. Sunday at Borders in Thousand Oaks.
Three local authors will discuss their books at 7 p.m. Saturday in Barnes & Noble, 4360 E. Main St., Ventura. Winnie Hirsch will sign "In Search of My Husband's Mind," her account of a tragic medical misunderstanding; poet Jackie Bach will read from "Through the Bach Door"; and Maxye Henry will share insights from her "The Home Business Sourcebook."
A lively weekend is scheduled at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Angie and Bob Irvine, who write as Val Davis, will sign their "Track of the Scorpion," and T. Jefferson Parker will present his new novel, "Where Serpents Lie," at noon Saturday. Michael Connelly will appear at noon Sunday to sign "Blood Work."
The Conejo Valley Genealogical Society, whose meetings focus on how to research formerly inaccessible genealogical information, welcomes everyone to a beginner's class on basic books and library references at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Refreshments will be served at 7, followed by a lecture by Donna Cuillard on Eastern European research. Call (805) 497-8293.
Kevin Hall, a member of the United States Olympic 49er-class sailing team, will discuss his adventures in sailing competitions and his writing career at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Ventura County Writers Club. Hall has had numerous articles published in Sailing World and will talk about magazine-article query techniques.
The club's new meeting place is Borders, 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks (Moorpark exit/Ventura Freeway). Call (805) 499-8921.
In Santa Barbara
The 25-year-old Earthling, 1137 State St., is becoming a new-and-used bookshop and will accept "your gently read old favorites" in exchange for credit or cash. Call Leslie at (805) 965-0926 for details.
* Frances Halpern and Jon O'Brien are co-hosts of "Beyond Words" at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU-FM (88.3 Ventura and 102.3 Santa Barbara), Ventura County's National Public Radio Station.