I don't know what it is about our new volunteer Mike, but there is an electricity in Logos whenever I come in to relieve him. Oh it's not like he made lots of sales...far from it...but he's such a people person it's like he has his own little support group or conversation buddies all over the store. In fact, it was kind of funny because when he left, they all (3 of them, I think) did too! He's a real people person.
It was a pretty dead day today with spots of being busy and the very best end of the day...ever! But from about 2:30 until about 5:00 there wasn't a single person in the place. Heck, even "my friend" didn't show up. But at least I finished my book.
Walt had brought home a huge bowl of Mint Milanos, leftover from his contribution to the Citizens Who Care reception last week. He figured it would take us a month to eat them ourselves (I was not quite so pessimistic, but realized it would not be good for me!), so I decided to bring them to Logos. I set them up on the front desk with a sign to help yourself, but I don't think anybody took any. Fortunately, Susan was having a poetry reading that night, so maybe they got eaten after all.
My first customer was a Burl Ives type who came in with bargain books and sat himself at the front table to read. "You made two sales at least," he told me. He had not been in before and when I told him the story policy about donating to charity, he enlightened me on what kind of business license Susan and Peter must have...and corrected me when I said "Doctors without Borders" to "Médecins sans Frontiéres." He got two phone calls while sitting at the front table and after a long time bought the two bargain books, 2 spiritual type books and a book on California which, to my surprise, was marked fifty cents, not the usual $1.
Another guy came up timidly with one book in his hand and asked "Can I buy this book?" What?...I was going to say no?
A tall, stately woman, about my age who was from out of town (I heard her tell someone outside who was asking for directions) had on a lovely maroon sweater which went well with her grey-white hair. She didn't say much, but bought 2 bargain books, one fantasy book and one mystery.
A rotund guy with thick black curly hair was wearing Puma sweat pants and a black sweater. He joined Burl Ives at the front table for awhile. He eventually bought 4 books to the desk and bought 2 of them, returning the other two. One of the two books was by Tony Kushner.
A chubby young woman wore what looked like some kind of team jersey, too tight jeans and Uggs. Her black hair went below her shoulder blades and had one shock of white, about 2-3 inches wide, down one side, from forehead to hair tips. She also bought a bargain book (it was a good day for bargain books. The next two customers also bought bargain books).
A woman came in with a bag of donated books, asked me if I was Bev Sykes, introduced herself and reminded me that our kids were in school together. I didn't recognize her or her name.
I apparently dozed off momentarily during the dead time because when I looked up, two men I had not seen or heard enter were leaving the store.
My next customer, though, was a lot of fun. I could have sworn he was gay until he talked about his wife. He was dressed in in dark grey short-shorts with tan socks to mid-calf, a read shirt and a red jacket with a wide navy stripe. He was looking for maps and explained that he goes biking in Europe and rattled off all the places he wanted to bike (some of which I had been to...not biking, of course). He started talking about Rick Steves and then got off on something he had read about lunches for pre-schoolers in Paris and the chefs who create the menus, how the kids get lessons in how to sit and socialize and eat their food.
I contrasted that with Steve Schalchlin's niece, Elizabeth Pax, a teacher in Texas, who set up a "Go Fund Me" page to raise money to feed her at-risk middle schoolers who were coming to school without breakfast. (I encourage you to read her story on the page and how the kids reacted to the food she served to them. She's a great inspiration.)
The customer ended up buying "Under the Tuscan Sun" stating that his wife reads a lot but "nothing worthwhile." I was feeling guilty that I was, at that moment, reading the first junk chick lit book I'd ever read!
My last two customers were my favorite kid, Athena, and her mom. I think Athena is a year older than Brianna, but she reminds me of her a lot (if Bri had dark hair). Athena LOVES books and spends a lot of time looking through the kids room. I remember last time she came in, she took a Japanese book from the foreign book shelf to take to her mother, "as a joke," she told me.
The best part of the day came while Athena was browsing when the door opened and in came Cayce Wallace and her group. Cayce leads dog walks through downtown Davis, teaching dogs how to behave while out in public. She had with her about 7 people with their dogs on leashes, to have the experience of behaving in a retail store (apparently Susan had invited her). What fun. The dogs were all well behaved and several of them had to sniff my legs with all the Polly/Lizzie smells. They walked around the store for about 5 minutes and then left, about 3 minutes before Walt arrived, so he missed them.
For a day that was so dull most of the day (I only used 2-1/2 sheets of note paper) it had some of the best interactions, what with Burl Ives, the Biker, Athena and the dogs. Also, the antiquarian popped in while I was talking to the biker, but he left right away, so I didn't get a chance to talk with him.