PICTURES are a fine thing, for how often we forget the details. I look at the photo above and think, "Oh yes, for a while we did have luminarias above the marquee". One of my unrequited dreams is to go to New Mexico at Christmastime when the towns are decorated with what they call "farolitos". Meanwhile we brought them to Montrose. I'd like to think they were lighted, but I think we had no way of accomplishing that.
We had three large windows to decorate and we changed them often hoping to attract the public. One year I bought many bunches of daffodils (99¢ each at Trader Joe's).
As time went by, the flowers opened and I, at least, was enchanted.
Should anyone ask, I'd have to say the store was my canvas for self-expression. The fact that the customers liked it was a huge bonus.
And what a time I had! There was hard work involved, too, schlepping heavy boxes of books around, the endless task of bill paying ....... to get the right mix of merchandise, I shopped from hundreds of vendors, always looking for new ones to supply the unusual.
How I love this picture. Somewhere there's a snapshot of this scene with a customer looking at greeting cards in the fixture to the left. It showed that the shop was indeed open during Mr. Bob's snooze. Note the open book in his lap.
When he retired from his 42 year career as a commercial printer, Mr. Bob often came and helped at the bookshop. After a while he'd get fed up and quit. Eventually I'd coax him back and the whole scenario would repeat itself over and over. But no one else ever quite treated the customers the way I wanted it done and his presence made all the difference in the world. I especially loved the days he and I worked together. (Maybe because while in the shop, he considered me the authority, a condition that changed the minute we stepped across the threshold to go home at night.)
The book, the giant book. It came to us in the same miraculous way that so many things happened. I saw it in a bookshop in South Pasadena in a store that had a display window that went right down to ground level. The book was tilted back slightly and at its base was a tumble of used paperbacks. I dared to go in and ask of the possibility of renting it once the window display was changed. The owner said, "I'm closing in two weeks. You can have it." Imagine! It was made of styrofoam, light in weight, but awkward to handle. I fear that it ended up in the landfill when the present owner had to move, downsizing in the process.
So, that's it for today. More pictures and memories are waiting in the wings to be shared another day. And then we'll get back to the Manor.
Funny thing to tell you. The administrators of our facility have taken to reading the blog and one of them was horrified to see our picture eating from trays. It is said that she cried out, "Oh, dear! People will think we eat from trays at the Manor!" Not to worry. We were at IKEA enjoying their famous meatballs. It's much more refined here, unless we order a meal to be served in our rooms and then, truth to tell, it does arrive on a tray.
(To be continued)