Monday, October 16, 2006


Today, before my scheduled reading at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on the outskirts of Cleveland, I stopped in at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where I marveled at a display of costumes and realized that Britney Spears's clothes (even from her first tour) would be too big for Mick Jagger (even today). But the best part of the visit was stumbling, anew, upon Menudo. I had forgotten about Menudo. That's why I love digging in the bins of history. You never know what you will find. Thankfully, the pop group was a little like Leboyer Baths, a short-lived concept that we can chuckle about today.
After that, unsure what else to do in this town, I headed over to the book store a bit early, and was introduced to "our resident autograph seeker," as he was called. The man did not ask me to sign MY book for him. No, he asked me to sign HIS book for him. It was a slim book -- a classic autograph book, which was numbered 300-something on a little white sticker on the cover. "Sign it to Charles, like the prince." My mind was racing. What on earth was going on here? I just did what he told me to do as he explained that he had 30,000 autographs in his collection. The names were stored in an alphabetical database on his computer. He had Salvador Dali's signature, which he had procured just 15 minutes from the very place in Lyndhurst where we stood. He also had Bogey and Bacall's, Woodward and Bernstein's. What, I asked him, possessed him to want mine? "Yours goes in the creative arts category," he said. With that, I handed him back HIS book, and thanked him.

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