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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another Full Weekend Gone By

Friday: Parade Serendipity and Poetry Mystery

Leaving my bookstore to walk to the post office on Friday morning, at the last minute I grabbed my camera. Good impulse! Right up at the corner of Waukazoo and Nagonaba I encountered an unexpected surprise: the Northport Children’s Center on parade! The occasion for the parade was the fund-raiser auction to be held on Friday evening.

Another surprise greeted me at the post office. Remember the mysterious poem someone sent me in the mail? The p.o. box held a second poem from H., again typed on lined paper folded to form its own envelope and bearing interesting stamps. John at the post office deciphered “Metroplex” and tells me that means the poem was mailed from somewhere in the Detroit area. More than that he could not determine.

Here is the new poem:

Saturday: One of My Old Favorites Finds a New Home, Booksellers on Holiday Visit Northport, and Wildflowers Bloom in the Woods

Was it only coincidence, or was it the magic of touch at work again? Coming to the bookstore on Saturday, I’d picked up one of my favorite books (one my son and I enjoyed many times over when he was little, though not this copy) and photographed it for my blog, and that very day someone bought the book.

Silly Petunia thought owning and carrying a book around made her wise. The beginning of true wisdom came with her realization that she had to learn to read.
Any surprise it was a grade school teacher who bought Petunia?

There is no telling on any particular day who will walk in the door and what they will buy, though it’s always obvious which ones are the dog-lovers, and Sarah (I’m a little embarrassed to admit) is quick to detect which pockets hold dog treats. Only after one couple had been thoroughly and shamelessly—and successfully!—propositioned by Sarah did I learn that they were colleagues of mine from Ohio. Yes, real, dedicated independent bookstore proprietors everywhere in the world see each other as colleagues, not competitors. It was very pleasant making shop talk with Joe and Linda Diamond from Beehive Books in Delaware, Ohio. Joe and Linda travel the same way I do--from bookstore to bookstore. Here they are with Linda’s purchase (yes, I strongly recommended the book), Benjamin Busch’s Dust to Dust: A Memoir. Since their store sells all new books, I didn’t want them to miss this one.

Before they got out the door, while Linda and I were still chatting, Joe stopped by the April poetry table and picked up Jim Harrison’s Songs of Unreason. He bought that book before he left. Good choice! It made me happy to have two excellent Michigan writers (Jim used to live here, and Ben, not a native, lives in Michigan now) finding a new home and new fans in Ohio.

When we got home later in the day, Sarah and I went out in the woods. That was good, too, as it always is.

Sunday: Morels, Laundry, and (Always) More Books

The morels were only two in number, gift of a friend, so rather than mixing them with our cheesy scrambled eggs, I sauteed them separately and posed them atop a dollop of light sour cream on top of the eggs. It was a good way to start a busy day. I had a lot of laundry to do and a sunny day to hang it out on the line. I also had half a book still to get through before a discussion group meeting in the evening. But the garden beckoned: Its edge needed cutting back. Weeds needed removing. Soil needed to be worked up. And seeds begged to be planted! But it all got done, and a little housework besides. (Will miracles never cease?) And now, as I post this past weekend's highlights, it's already Tuesday. How did that happen? The usual way, I suppose. More another day on my reading of Annie Dillard's Living By Fiction and continued reading about Americans in Paris and the Hellenistic Period in the Old World.

For today, Happy May Day, everyone!


BB-Idaho said...

I like the idea of Sarah The Bookstore Dog. ..and note other
pet retail 'clerks'. Three of the
craft/quilt local stores have 'welcoming cats', the big
nursery has a hound to step over,
Grace Luthern has cat that adopted the place (Gracie, of course) and
the hobby store in Missoula has both a cat AND a dog to greet us.
A few years back, we ran across a
lady with a model train store that
had the help of a golden lab as well as her own twins in a stroller
as greeters. Hey! are
missing the boat...

P. J. Grath said...

Let's leave this special niche attraction to Mom and Pop, shall we, BB?

Peter D. Sieruta said...

You know, I've always felt that if we put an idea "out there," someone will else will pick up on it. Sounds like that's exactly what happened with PETUNIA: you focused on it and then a customer bought it. You should do an experiment every week, thinking hard about a particular title and seeing if there is suddenly a demand for it.

I live just outside Detroit and almost all my local mail comes with that "Metroplex" postmark. What an intriguing mystery!

P. J. Grath said...

Peter, I think of the PETUNIA example as more as the effect of my having touched and held the book before putting it back on the shelf, not just focusing mentally. It has happened before that a book I've had for a long time (not the case with this one) suddenly found a customer after I'd handled the book and perhaps put it in a different part of the shop. But I should admit, too, that I put PETUNIA on the shelf FACING OUT! So how could it fail to attract attention?

Ah, yes, and my mysterious poet-correspondent, H.! WHO IS H.? Will I ever know? It is a most delicious mystery, isn't it?

Gerry said...

No predictions about H, but I like the poem about the bees very much.

That was a very nice weekend indeed--with morels on top. I'm glad to hear that books are finding their way to new homes. They probably snuggle on the shelf and tell all the other books what a great place they came from. "And there was this dog named Sarah . . . "

P. J. Grath said...

I like the poem, too. Should have said so.

And that dog, Sarah? Never chewed a book in her life, not even as a puppy! Nor a shoe. Shredded many a newspaper and pretty much demolished the gearshift lever in one of our cars, but very good around books, as befits a bookstore dog.

Dawn said...

What a sweet weekend. I was just thinking that I couldn't remember my weekend...I have much garden edging to do, if you're so inclined. Laundry too come to think of it. Though I think that's what I did last weekend.

Glad you and Sarah got out to the woods. Pretty!

P. J. Grath said...

I know what you mean, Dawn. Sometimes on Monday someone will ask, "How was your weekend?" and I think, "Weekend? What weekend?"

Love the woods! Fear ticks! What a dilemma! I don't so much conquer the fear as put it out of my mind. And wear a cap.

Helen said...

Perhaps H is a prisoner -- or perhaps I've just seen too much Law and Order....

Your weekend sounds like a lovely and true American portrait; I picture you and Laura Ingalls spending the weekend side by side.

P. J. Grath said...

The mystery of the postal poems continues, Helen, since you tell me that you are not H. Are you sure you're not having someone send the poems from Detroit for you, just to throw me off the scent?