That's what senior NBC correspondent Mike Leonard took last February with his elderly Irish immigrant parents, ever-optimistic Jack and ace doomsayer Marge, and the results made for a hilarious and touching four-part series on The Today Show as Leonard and his folks traversed the country together in an RV. Now he has turned the experience, alternately touching and funny, into a book, and Ballantine editorial director

Linda Marrow promptly bought world rights to it. It's called Last Lap, and in it, Leonard tells about his parents' reminiscences, quarrels, abundant humor and often offbeat encounters with folk along the way. The agent making the sale was

Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.