Adventures in Marketing — Week 316

Sold an “Outlaws, Rebels…” to Marcel, my Christian Scientist café buddy, who plans to give it to a friend from college days (Humboldt State). Marcel, in recent days, has given me an article from “Barron’s” on genetic screening for cancer and photo-copied newspaper articles about his family history (mother’s side) as cattlemen in Texas. He also invited me to lunch. I accepted but said he would be my guest since, in light of his purchases, I can write it of as a business expense.

In other news…
A more conventional citizen, a classical pianist/composer (atonal works, I’m guessing), paid much attention to my books’ art and paged through “Cheesesteak” and “The Schiz,” reading snatches, but bought zero. If he’s got a CD, maybe I’ll offer a swap.
I did give a “Lollipop” to a 90-plus, recently retired exercise instructor who, upon hearing of my recently bummed back, brought me (and Adele) rubber stretch bands to aid our fitness. She was not my only barter of the week. But the other deserves more back story. (No pun intended.)

The route of my thrice-weekly cardio-walk takes me up Spruce Street to the reservoir and then down. Recently, a couple blocks from home, someone began leaving out books in a carton on the sidewalk. As “free books” go, these were better conditioned and more appealing than the usual.
Three trips in a row, I took one (Tobias Wolfe, Frank Conroy, Bill James). Once, the apparent owner, a gentleman in his late 80s, while working in his garden, made a recommendation. Thereafter, I would pass along my thoughts about my selections. Finally, I asked, “Are you a writer or academic.
He said he was a retired professor of philosophy. “Are you an academic?”
“I’m a retired attorney – and a writer.”
“What have your written?”
“Well,” I said, somewhat sheepishly, “I write about comics and cartoonists.”
“Oh,” he said, “I write about comics and cartoonists too.”
He sent me links to reviews he had written of books about Fredric Wertham and superheroes in “The Journal of American Culture” and to his analysis of “what makes a
superhero, philosophically speaking” in “Philosophy Now.” This led me to give him an “Outlaws, Rebels…,” which led him to offer me a hardcover of his “Myth of the American Superhero” to which I responded with a “Pirates and the Mouse.”
This falls deservedly under “You Never Know…,” don’t you think?