Write a book?  So what?  Writing a book is getting a book read and reading a book is what writing a book is all about.  We are lucky on Kauai. We have  Talk Story Book Shop in metropolitan Hanapepe that, with great verve and joy, opens its doors every Friday night to local writers and buyers.

Can a writer also be a ‘seller’ of his books? You bet’cha. I love it. I’m in my element. The world strolls by, walks in, talks story. Ed and Cynthia-two absolutely gorgeous human beings- are delightful hosts. “Welcome to the farthest eastern book shop in America,” is their cheerful welcome.

Outside their door, an amazing underwater photographer sells his photos. A local musician sings and plays his heart out. Darling girls sell culinary art. Try a piece. Guests at Talk Story  munch a piece of pie as they browse.

But, as often happens in paradise, we have a snake in the garden. It walks around in a rumpled sandwich board, popping in and out the door, scaring little children-me, too- berating common street vendors who spoil the elitist atmosphere. Every piece of pie, every photograph, every book sold on this sacred night detracts from the sale of art.

I first met the  sandwich board years ago. I’d been invited to a party in Princeville and, since the hostess- a writer- knowing I didn’t like to drive at night, arranged  a ride with someone I’d never met. I arrived early. I was taught being late is rude. I drove up to the porte-co-chere, nice to have where it rains a lot. The sky was a cloud swept deep Kauai blue. The air alive with scent and song.

A voice called, “Move the car.”

I moved. Parked down the road and walked back to the house. “I’m here.”

“Wait outside.”

There was a bench. I sat. Maybe my driver was in the shower. When it opened the door, it said not a word, but started off to the car  I trailed behind.

I didn’t like it from the get-go, although it looked very much like my husband.  The ride to Princeville was tense with silence. No happy talk in this jalopy.  At the party it went north. I went south. I ate, drank, and made happy until it was time to leave. The ride home was a disaster. We sped. Crossed  double lines. Tailgated. I perched on the edge of the seat.

“Stopping to see friends. Wait here.” First words uttered.

“Please take me to my car.”

My driver gave me guff but I insisted and won, but not without a verbal  exchange. I  happily departed company. The next time, I promised myself, I’d hire a driver.

I never saw nor spoke to the sandwich board again until it appeared through the door of  Talk Story and scared me. An apparition. But I sold a lot of books.

A true story, but any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.

Looks to be a fun night in Hanapepe on Kauai.


One Response

  1. Bettejo is back!
    Our literary diamond is re-polished and brilliance again reigns.

    I see I’ll have to not only get caught up on the blogs I’ve missed, but resume my old habit of checking in every day!

    Hugs to Bettejo!


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