Adventures in Marketing — Week 423

Sold a café journal to a Swedenborgian minister in town for an event on Holy Hill. He’d had a long conversation at the next table with F___ in which the Gospels and Diogenes were discussed, topics on which I did not feel up to sufficient speed to discuss. My books caught his eye on the way out, but I did not get to drop into the conversation that the last Swedenborgians I had run into – literally – were at Bryn Athyn when we played them in football.
And – snapping the streak of people who took my card and from whom I never heard again – the ArtCar owner (see Adventure 422) returned and we completed our swap. I received an abstract of hers and she an “I Will Keep You Alive” and a “Schiz” from me. I told her, based on what she said the price her works commanded, she could visit my web site and, if she wanted more, let me know and I would bring them.
Also had a series of conversations with a family here for a graduation at UC. The grandmother, Marina (“Mary”), with whom I spoke the most, is Chinese. Her father had been in Chiang Kai Shek’s army, fled to Hong Kong when the Communists took control, and then to Seattle. The daughter-in-law and mother of the graduate, is from Tokyo and lives in Santa Ana. Her name is Ai. “A-I?” I said. “Like Artificial Intelligence,” she said. “Fooled me,” I said. “I could have sworn you were real”; and everyone laughed. They admired the “comradeship” on display at the café – but no one bought a book to commemorate their visit.

In other news…
Well, this isn’t true “Adventure in Marketing” material, except people like to read about those I meet so…
Some of you may know that for several years I have participated in a program where people who’ve had heart surgery visit hospital patients who’ve just had one to discuss concerns and anxieties they may have as someone who’s been through it. (“Walking role models,” we call ourselves.) This week I met a jolly, 300-pound, 59-year-old African-American fellow whose first name was “JFK,” but that’s not the story I wanted to tell. It’s about another patient.
Often, someone invites me to sit down, but I rarely do. I was only a few exchanged sentences into my spiel when, this time, I did. The patient with whom I engaged was a 75-year-old retired minister and widower of 14 years. He had been told that, after multiple procedures, nothing more could be done and he would die. He was, he said, unafraid, totally at peace, having lived a fine life, and looking forward to its next stage and seeing his wife again. We talked a long time. As I prepared to leave, I said that if he was still here at my next visit, I hoped to see him again. “I’m sure we’ll see each other, Bob,” he said, “if not here…”