Yesterday I was in Moe's, my favorite Berkeley book store. I had struck out on the fourth, third and second floors, and was in the sub-street level first, when a woman who had been shelving books said, with a big smile, "Hi! Haven't seen you in a while."
I had, so far as I knew, never seen her before in my life. But I said, smiling big myself, "Well, i guess it's been a month or two..." Which it probably was, and which is more frequently than I usually get to Moe's.
"Finding what you're looking for," she said.
Anyway, I ended up buying "Bob Dylan in American" (remaindered), which I might have bought anyway, but the reason I mention this is that when, a few years ago, a prominent Berkeley book store nearer to my home, folded, leading to much weeping and rending of garments, my own wails were muted by the fact that, while I went there nearly every week -- and had read there twice -- its owners had never once greeted me with a nod or smile or word. And while this woman in Moe's may have easily mistaken me for one of its other white, bald, bearded, eye-glassed customers, of which it has a multitude the fact that she was happy to greet one of them warmed my heart and strengthened my bonds to her store.
Causes Bob Levin Supports
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, ACLU, PEN, Berkeley Emergency Food & Housing Project.