Sold a Cheesesteak and a Schiz – and a check for Lollipop arrived. (Postage, plus something extra.)
The first sale went to a 30-ish fellow in a “BRASIL” soccer jersey. He was from Eritria, perhaps my opening to that entire continent’s market.
The second went to one of the café’s two surviving (out of four) Greek fisherman-cap- wearing, octogenarian “Irving”s. An MFCC and former jazz trombonist, his standard greeting to me for years has been “Bob! I read your book about Philadelphia,” and my standard reply (depending on the year) has been “Irv! There’s been one (or “two”) (or “three”) since.”
This time he bought. I think Shary Flenniken’s illo sold him.
“Ah! Tension reduction,” he said.
Then there was the conversation with the fellow wearing a bright red sweatshirt with a Christmas tree on it, Nehemia.
“The Shizz,” he said.
“Skizz,” I said. “Hard ‘C.’ Like ‘schizophrenic.’”
“But like a double-entendre,” he said. “Like the kids say. ‘The Shits.’”
“Okay,” I said.
Then he said, “You must know Malcolm Margolis.”
I said I didn’t. But I knew who he was.
Nehemia said he had read The Ohlone Way when he was at Berkeley High and it had changed his life. From there the conversation progressed to living in harmony with nature and a field trip to a fish emulsion factory – No, wait, that was another guy. Nehemia was the one with who the first true native Americans were, red, black, yellow, Viking. “They discovered, buried in the sand, that the ancient Egyptians had ocean-crossing vessels,” he said. “What did they have them for, if they weren’t going to cross oceans?”
I couldn’t answer.
REMEMBER: all books available from www.theboblevin.com and copies of LOLLIPOP still available if you send an SASE ($2.89) to POB 9492 Berkeley 94709. (My cover designer is having pen trouble, but my editor/formatter says — non-specifically but reassuringly — things are “rolling along.”