It's official; my partner in crime Lou Boxer has booked the bus, and we're finalizing the itinerary. What used to be a humble graveside tribute to Philly noir legend David Goodis has blossomed into a full-on noir adventure on wheels we're calling, "Retreat to Goodisville."

Here's the deal: at 10 a.m., Saturday January 7th, 2012 (the 45th anniversary of Goodis's death) we'll be meeting just outside The Lost Bar of Atlantis, 2442 Frankford Avenue. A coach bus will take 30 of us up to the Goodis grave in nearby Bensalem, PA. Along the way, we'll watch an excerpt of The Burglar, the 1957 shot-in-Philly crime noir, scripted by Goodis from his own novel. Bring your favorite Goodis passage, because at the man's grave we'll be paying tribute to him by reading excerpts from his work. Then it's back on the bus for a tour of prime Goodis locations, including the house where he lived with his parents (and wrote most of his novels), his birthplace, street corners and landmarks mentioned in Down There, Black Friday, Cassidy's Girl, Of Tender Sin, and much, much more. Plus, on the bus we'll have guest speakers, prizes, and beer. (Yes, we're allowed to imbibe on the bus. Lou checked!) Finally, we'll end up back at the Lost Bar for beer and snacks. The first round is on us; the snacks are courtesy the fine folks at the Lost Bar. Plus: just across the street, the Philadephia Brewing Co. will be offering brief tours.

Want a seat on the bus? We're asking for $25 per person to cover transportation, bus snacks and incidentals. Seating is limited, so drop me a line at duane DOT swier AT verizon DOT net (with the subject line, "Retreat to Goodisville") and I'll send you an address where you can send a check to reserve your seat.

Don't want to enjoy the warmth and camaraderie of the bus? No worries; Goodis's characters were loners, too. Meet us at the grave site and we'll give you a list of our tour stops so you can join in. But trust me: the bus is going to be worth it. Early January in Philadelphia tends to be pretty damn cold.

Lou and I hope to see you many of you guys there. Any questions? Drop me a line. I'll post a follow-up when the bus is full, which based on our early head count, should be fairly soon.

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