Adventures in Marketing — Week 422

Sold a café journal and an “Outlaws, Rebels…” and discussed the swap of a “Bob on Bob” and did swap another and… Let’s take these seriatim.
1.) The journal sale, the least noteworthy – no offense, R_ – of the above was to a café regular (and repeat customer). He wanted a copy to replace one he had given to a friend.
2.) Two days later, a man in his early 70s, who had been sitting across the room, walked up, smiled, and asked, “May I take your picture with the Checkered Demon?” I go months without anyone recognizing my sign. W_ turned out to be a fan of Wilson’s, so I touted my article.
W_ and his wife were in town from Hudson, NY, for a wedding. He is an architect – an award-winning one, subsequent research revealed, and important figure in the New Urbanism movement. (Their son, a RISD graduate now in industrial design, had submitted a comic of his creation in his portfolio to gain admission.) We had a pleasant chat, which concluded when they asked for Berkeley’s best bookstore and I said Moe’s. They took my card and said they would read my book, visit my web site, and get back to me.
But so far nothing.
3.) The very next day, when I arrived, an ArtCar, festooned with sea shells and ceramic animals and plants, was parked in the space ahead of mine. M_, a retired book store manager, who was seated outside, opened a discussion of it, but before we got far, S_____, a young woman seated to his right, asked if we liked it. She, it turned out, was the owner/creator. I mentioned H_ B_, a major figure in the ArtCar movement, who used to come frequently (now occasionally) to the café, but she had not heard of him. M_ mentioned the annual San Francisco ArtCar parade, but she did not know that either. (She was new to Berkeley and hoping to find a place to live.)
S_ is primarily a painter of abstracts, which she showed us on her phone. I proposed a swap of one (or more) of my books for a print. When I pulled “Bob” from my bag, she said he has fathered two children of a friend of hers. I hoped to learn more, and she took my card and said she would get back to me.
But so far nothing.
4.) That same morning, as I was about to leave, in came R_, an 81-year-old fellow in a Joshua Tree baseball cap. He had come to the Bay Area in 1966 from Pomona, where he had studied poetry and philosophy. He lives in Oakland and had often heard about the café but never been before. For over 30 years, he has publishing a professional-looking magazine (32 issues so far) of photographs, interviews and essays, modeled on “The Sun.” It dips into art, the eternal, life’s meaning, and defining moments. Gertrude Stein, Heidegger and Wittgenstein are mentioned on p. 1 and Gurdjieff and Needleman later.
R_ asked about my writing and daily presence in the café and, after we’d swapped my book for his magazine, said he might like to interview me. I gave him my card.
But so far…