Tuesday, December 07, 2004

More Books to Collect

Business was absolutely horrible at Cow Palace this past weekend. Apparently the promoter did not advertise, or at least not in the right places. I did all that work of setting up, going there for three days, and barely took in enough to pay the booth rent.

I did have a good weekend in other ways, however. A dealer I have known for several years (he and his wife were set up across from me at the “old” Cow Palace shows) revealed something very interesting to me the last day of the show. I was selling old cookbooks, and a couple of them were on one of the silver flatware cases.

He stated “You have my cookbooks.”

“What?” I thought he meant that I had cookbooks he was selling, in my booth, and I knew they were mine. The books were two copies of the same book, Souffle & Quiche, a Nitty Gritty book.

“I did the illustrations in the book. I did the artwork for Nitty Gritty cookbooks.”

My reply – “Wow! Will you autograph them for me, please?”

His name is Craig Torlucci, and his illustrations are great. I have had several Nitty Gritty cookbooks, which I sold on Now I have to find copies of them again, to keep for myself. I collect books written or illustrated by people I know personally, or people I have met in various places, such as Amtrak trains while traveling cross-country.

I also had a very lengthy conversation with a jewelry dealer who has become a close friend. In years past, he has purchased many very expensive pieces of designer costume jewelry from me. He also buys “real” jewelry, especially estate jewelry. He has told me in the past that he worked for Trifari, making jewelry for years. Jamey has repaired good pieces for me (soldering pins on), and refused to accept any compensation.

Somehow, in the course of our conversation the other day, Jamey revealed “My father was a very famous archaeologist. He wrote many books.”

I mentioned “My niece is majoring in archaeology, and is going to Hawaii this month on a dig.”

“If she is studying archaeology, then she will definitely use the books my father has written.”

“Oh, what is his name?”

“James Deetz, same as mine. My brother and sister are also archaeologists. My brother is on a dig at Jamestown, and my sister is at Berkeley. I also worked on digs, but after I moved to California and had worked on one dig, I gave it up, because there is nothing very old out here.”

Well, I searched on Google today, and found many entries for James Deetz. He is definitely a famous archaeologist. I read some of the links, and I plan to read many more.


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