Friends of the Month: Rosanne & Ben Shore

Rosanne and Ben Shore met when they were teenagers, and a year after they married relocated to Miami, where Rosanne attended law school and Ben did a pediatric residency at Jackson.

You’re from Toronto, Rosanne, and Ben, you’re from Philadelphia. How did you meet?

B: We met on a ski trip when I was 18 and she was 15. My girlfriend had just dumped me and I met Rosanne walking down a hallway in the hotel. I asked her if she wanted to get picked up and she said yes. [both laugh]

B: We corresponded for about five years.

R: Correspondence was different in those days. There were no cell phones, no FaceTime.

B: And that was expensive. Lots of phone calls, and we sent each other cassette tapes back and forth.

Oh my gosh.

B: Yep. [laughs] When I finally asked her to marry me she took two weeks to give me an answer.

R: That was 47 years ago.

How did you first learn about Miami Book Fair?

R: It’s really embarrassing that we lived here as many years as we did [without knowing about it], because we raised two wonderful kids and I don’t remember if we ever even went to The Street Fair. We really didn’t know about it; it was after the kids were grown that we became involved. And I remember that first year feeling so embarrassed that we hadn’t been a part of it before, because if anyone asked me what my perfect life would be, it would be sitting down reading and eating chocolate. [laughs]

You’re making up for lost time now.

R: We have met so many incredible people, and the people that work at Book Fair – how they come up with the programming – just blows me away every year.

B: The interesting thing is that Rosanne and I have had a philosophy in life that has really helped us, and that is to try to link ourselves – I call it climbing on the back of a giant – we try to affiliate ourselves with people who are better than we are and broader than we are. It’s the same thing with Book Fair.

Once you did discover the Fair, did you immediately become Friends?

B: Yes.

R: I believe so. I think that was at least five years ago. But I do remember that when we went the first time, we couldn’t believe how many people were there, how many people from out of town, how organized it was – it really was an incredible thing.

What are some of your Book Fair highlights?

R: The night we went to see Pete Souza do his presentation on Shade. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s all the pictures he took in the White House and about his relationship with Obama. It was fabulous. We attended virtually this past year because of COVID and watched Alan Cumming – I’m in the middle of reading his book now, which I’m really enjoying. I don’t think I ever would have picked it up if I hadn’t seen him at the Fair. He’s very smart, and his stories are really good.

Have you had any close encounters with an author you admire, at a presentation or book signing, or maybe at the Authors’ Party?

B: We’ve met with and talked to a lot of people. John Kerry, Barbara Bush, Malcolm Nance – it was fascinating talking to him. You have the opportunity to meet people that you never in your life thought you would. Lawrence O’Donnell, Michael Beschloss …

R: And you don’t feel like you’re accosting them. They’re there at the Fair and they’re engaged and happy to talk and share.

B: Oh, Mitch Albom is another one. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we went to the same high school; he was a few years behind me. We got to chat when I saw him at the Fair. Ted Koppel –

R: Oh, we kept running into him.

B: At Book Fair and once at Canyon Ranch.

R: In his bathrobe. [both laugh] We didn’t bother him at Canyon Ranch.


Interview by Elisa Chemayne Agostinho.

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