Sand at Annie Bloom’s in Portland, OR


Thanks to Dave Keener of BootsnAll, I arrived at the event on time and without incident. When we pulled up on the street that is home to Multnomah Village, I let out some ohhs and ahhs as if I'd just come upon a litter of puppies. This two block section of Capitol Hwy was lined with independent stores and boutiques. Annie Bloom’s was right in the middle of them. Jennifer Colvin was waiting out front with some friends. Richard and Seth from the store introduced themselves and showed us that we’d be speaking in a separate building right next door to AB's.

If I wasn’t already enamoured with the neighborhood, the event coordinator Seth topped the night like the whipped cream and cherry that he was. Hello. He took Jenn and I into the store to show us around and I swear we would have followed him anywhere. Dark brown hair, medium but tall build, casually dressed but in no way a slacker. And calves that said he biked to work. He offered us some coffee or water but we said no thanks as we just wanted to talk to him some more. I told him I was moving to Portland. His degree was in Asian Philosophy so I’m sure he knew that what I said meant that there was going to be 60 seconds before I gave him my phone number and asked if he could clear out some closet space. Though Jenn is happily married to a wonderful guy, she didn’t mind drooling either.

I guess he didn’t want a puddle at our feet and immediately told us that yes, “my wife and I go there a lot” when we were referring to the Baghdad movie theatre.

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Wife! Where’s your frickin ring? Jenn and I were too cool to skip a beat and didn’t let an ounce of disappointment show on our faces. I maintained full interest in the rest of whatever he was telling us.

But oh yes, about the reading. It was the smallest one we’d ever had. Twenty people. We did sell a bunch of books and three people had asked for signed copies though they couldn’t come. Seth also asked us to sign their remaining twenty-some copies and was pleased to report that they had sold 12 copies leading up to the event. He qualified it by saying that it was good for their small store, and I accepted knowing full well that it was very good for Travelers’ Tales. Loren Drummond who’s “On the Way to Shameless” epilogue I’ve been reading got lost along the way and didn’t make it till the end. No matter, we all went out for drinks at the dive bar across the street. Andrea and Dale Johnson were there too as well as some of Jenn’s friends.

Seth was next door with his wife. Who was surprisingly not Asian, and of course cute, and besdies that she owned a building on this lovely street. Seth introduced Andrea to her and hopefully she’ll get a showing of her photography there once they’ve finished with their redecorating. Ahhh Portland, not a bad place at all.