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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HOM: BookStore Characters

There was the Indian lady whose passion was directly proportional to her blood alcohol level. She'd get drunk and wander into the store and start trying to flirt with me. It got pretty embarrassing, so to defuse things I made sure Lyn came in once while she was here. Lyn visited, gave me a hug & kiss, and left while the other lady stood back and glared. When Lyn went out, the lady demanded "WHO WAS THAT YOU LET KISS YOU?" When I explained that it was my wife, she asked "What's she got I haven't?" and popped her shirt open. No bra. "A lot!" was my reply, and she stormed out. (Lyn was a 38 DD, so I wasn't lying!) She came back a few more times and then finally gave up, but the girl that was helping me in the store at the time threatened to hunt her up and sic her on me again if I misbehaved. Yeah, my helper thought it was a LOT funnier than I did. And the threat worked: I was an angel. ----- I've mentioned Thain White. After Jerry left, Thain's visits tapered off. He took back an antique map of Kalispell he'd let me display and gradually switched his business and social life to another bookstore that had reopened. ----- Luke, whose real name was Walter Popp. He was a big old guy with an eidetic memory who used to come in and read and listen to the radio. I kept a chair by the door for him. Luke was the most amazing font of knowledge I ever met. I'd mention an interesting factoid I'd come across and he'd tell me where he was when he read it, what publication it was in was in, and way more facts than I remembered, all of it totally accurate when I checked. I'm not sure if a memory like that is a gift or a curse. He was from Ohio, had worked in a papermill there, then had packed everything he owned into an old Dodge pickup with an Alaskan camper and moved to Montana, going to work at C&C plywood. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)