Adventures in Marketing: Weeks 386 – 387

Sold a “Best Ride” and a café journal.
They come with a story.
When a new owner bought the café and re-did it to suit his vision of what would play in Paris, he put up shelves for authors to display their work. Several did, including some I’d never laid eyes on and some who believed the cafe needed several of their books. I contributed a “Best Ride.”
The other day a fellow held up a copy and told me how much he’d liked it. “Where’d you get it?” I said.
He pointed at the shelf.
“Wanna pay me?” I said.
This led to a fun conversation. Hank is from Detroit, an ex-ballplayer, current writer, and friend of Lenny, who, when the cafe’s Hall of Fame opens, will be the first inductee. Lenny had tipped Hank to my book. Hank has just published “Jive 95,” a history of KSAN, the San Francisco radio station which was my favorite the first years I was here. We arranged to swap works the next day. He did not appear, but Lenny, who has multiple pieces in the journal and is out of copies himself, acquired one from me for Hank.
I look forward to further conversations – and transactions.

In other news…
1.) That sale of IWKYA to a 6th grade friend I reported last “Adventure” fell through in an unsettling way. I had mailed it and he was to mail a check. Calling to learn my address, he mentioned he was sending me a book which, he recalled my saying, I was short copies of, a statement I did not. His check never arrived but the book did – the IWKYA I had sent him. Inquiries confirmed his advancing dementia. The next day I read in the “Chronicle” the obit of a woman I had made out with in Philly 60 years ago. She had become a physician – and lived five minutes away in El Cerrito, all news to me.
Both of which served to further unsettle my sense of footing in the universe.
2.) Foot traffic has been, well, mixed. (A) Middle-aged white guy picks up a “Lollipop,” and when I ask “You have a Chicago connection?”, puts it down and leaves. (B) College-aged African-American woman excitedly looks at several of my books. She is in a rush, accepts my card – and hasn’t been heard from since. (C) Colorfully dressed 30-ish African-American woman examines “Outlaws, Rebels…” “Are you an artist?” I ask. “An enthusiast,” she says. She takes out several dollar bills but is short. I give her a card, and she promises to be back.
3.) Received an e-mail from a cartoonist who said he enjoyed my stuff at TCJ and wanted to send me his new book about a family of goth vultures. While I am familiar with vultures, I say, goths are after my time. But, sure, I will be delighted.
Still a kick to know strangers read me.