Adventures in Marketing: Week 188

Sold two copies of “Cheesesteak.”
The buyer was that folk musician from Detroit who hangs at the cafe to whom I’d given one last week. The first was for a fellow who runs a recording studio in Philly. The second for a guy who lives here and whom I know because his father was our family doctor back in the days of house calls and because I waited on his bunk’s table at Camp Tacoma. (See p. 45.) He was a sweet 10-year-old then who came to Berkeley around when I did and, now with a pig-tail down his back, sold pretzels from a food cart near Saither Gait before becoming a major hippie entrepreneur. His guitar shop (new and used), still psychedelic painted, is known world-wide.
And gave an “I Will Keep You Alive” to the fellow who’d helped Adele and meI move stuff from my office after I retired. (See p. 113 of that one). Then he’d sold “Street Spirit,” a newspaper for and about the homeless, outside the café because he’d been laid off from Chevron.
Now he was doing it again, laid off due to ill health (CHF) and trying to get back on his feet. Even though it had been eight years, he recognized me.
Also got an inquiry – but no purchase – about “Schiz” from an unshaven, skinny fellow in a raincoat and camo cap. “Wanna buy a book?” I said. “Can’t afford it,” he said. His name was “Solanoo.” “I made it up. It means ‘New Sun.’”

In other news, it’s been a good period for words-of-mouth.
1.) Leif, the mathematician, came out of the corner table where he usually sits bent over his papers to say he wanted to tell me how much he’d liked IWKYA. “Terrifying,” he said.
2.) Then Joseph (or whatever I called him before), the retired assistant library clerk, e-mailed augmentation of his earlier praise by comparing it to an operatic aria between a man and woman, with “the sweeping emotions” of my and Adele’s alternating voices overwhelming him.
3.) Finally, Jean-Paul, the founder of Berkeley’s first co-operatively owned record store and the most knowledgeable person about pop music I know, read my seminal article “Dylan: The Man, the Moment, the Italian Meats Sandwich.” I have always considered it the best thing ever written about Bob, a view not widely shared, and it was nice to hear him call it “Evocative, hilarious and profound. PHENOMENAL!”