Sold one “Schiz.”
The buyer is a long-time café regular, Sometimes she comes with her husband, a bearded fellow in an A’s cap. A horse player and, she tells me, a poet. Sometimes he comes alone and gets two coffees to go; sometimes she does.
“Tell me about yourself,” I said, preparing to sign her book.
She began with her arrival in Berkeley in 1962, at 19, from Joplin, Missouri, with her fiancee who was going to UC. She immediately fell in love with the city. The variety of the people. The sitting in cafes. The talk about everything. Nothing like that in Joplin. (Nor in Philadelphia, when I got here in ‘68.) Twenty minutes later, she had reached her anxiety over the processed food her daughter-in-law was feeding her grandchildren.
In other news…
1.) A graphic designer/café pal has complained about the repetitiveness of the image that accompanies these accounts. Tough, I say. That’s a personally created logo by, S. Clay Wilson, great American artists and originals. Pay attention to the numbers; see when they change. Everybody got that?
2.) Anyway, there may be a lull for a while. Adele’s concern over my sitting inside has led me to move my business to a sidewalk table. More foot traffic but seemingly less book interest (and my sign keeps blowing over).
It is a new show though – or a new season of an old one. Some new characters, like the smiling woman warning of, if I got her right, lethal waves and rays in the air. Some reappearances of old ones, long absent from the daily episodes. Some previously minor characters assuming major rolls. Some emerging plot lines, like the conflict between the octogenarian Zen priest and the fellow in the coolie’s hat who has taken upon himself the removal of all trash from the sidewalk (good) but refuses to be vaccinated (bad).
And I shouldn’t fail to mention, in last week’s pilot, the assault of the elderly panhandler in an electric wheelchair by a fellow wielding what appeared to be a styrofoam tube. I called 911 in my best, honed-by-years-of-tv-crime-drama fashion. “Caucasian male, about 40, six-feet-tall, close-cropped dark hair, black pants, black t-shirt, headed north, toward Vine.” A half-dozen vehicles responded, police and fire, and the perp was apprehended in the Safeway parking lot.
All things considered, I may be safer inside.
3.) And, finally, word has reached me postal rates may be increasing. So if you want your complimentary forthcoming saga of a South Side VISTA lawyer (1967-68) for $2.89, you’d best send your SASE with the aforementioned postage now.
ALL BOB’S BOOKS are available from www.theboblevin.com.