Search Me!

Think about it...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HOM: Random Rap-ups

We stayed with Toots and George in Long Beach a couple of times and really enjoyed the time with them. I visited most of the book stores around the L.A. area and we did some sightseeing. We visited the Walk of Stars in Hollywood, went through the famous intersection of Hollywood & Vine, and saw Grauman's Chinese Theatre. I stopped in Encino to meet Ellen Enzler, of Trophy Room Books, since we had a done a lot of business back and forth and chatted on the phone a few times. On the last CA trip, we went north on the scenic route, Highway 1/101, and stopped at the V.A facility in Medford, OR, to visit uncle Paul but missed connections. He was out somewhere and we were a little pressed for time and couldn't stay over, so I left him a note of regret with a promise to write him with more regularity. We went on up to Portland, then along the Columbia, up to Spokane, then back home on US2. ----- We went down to Boise for one show, which gave me a chance to visit some old friends. Worst gun show ever: I sold ONE book for $30. Good fun, bad business. ----- Spokane. We did that show several times. A few bits of trivia are worth mentioning. At one show, a middle-aged guy in an old straw hat, tattered Levis and down-at-the-heel work boots wandered by, stopped to look at books, and started building a stack. He obviously knew what he wanted and had good taste -- they were some of the best books I had with me. We debated prices when he was done, haggled a bit, then settled on $1100 for the stack -- the biggest show sale I ever made. He handed me a check and walked off with the books, leaving me with butterflies in my stomach. I took the check over to a dealer who was from the same town as the check writer and asked him if it was good, and he broke up laughing. He said everybody knew that the guy was the largest orchard owner and one of the biggest ranchers in the state. Yeah, I was ignorant and the check was good. Then there was the show with the bomb. Mid-day Saturday and all of a sudden the PA was blaring for all dealers and visitors to leave the building immediately, there was a report of a bomb in the building. Being both a fatalist and an idiot, I just settled in behind my table of books. I had a book to read, coffee to drink, and a comfortable seat, and figured that it was as good a day to die as any. Was there a bomb? Nope, no "BOOM," just LOTS of guff from cops, show personnel and the wife, who did evacuate. Then there was the show with the flood. The yellow flood. In those days smoking was okay anywhere, and since the show building at the fairgrounds had good ventilation smoke wasn't a problem. The problem came from a combination of congenital idiots and stupid architects. The architects designed the men's room with raised sills and no drains. The idiots flipped their cigar and cigarette butts into the urinals. The results turned the bathroom into a yellow wading pool. I didn't drink a lot of coffee at that Spokane show, or any other liquid that would require disposal. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)