Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Bookseller's Chance Encounter

An enormous Harley-Davidson rider visited the bookstore this afternoon. He looked like one of the vikings from the Capitol One Venture Card television commercials and towered over me like a grizzly bear on its hind legs.

"I'm looking for The Song of the Lark," he said, lifting his mirrored sunglasses onto his head.

I showed the hulk to the fiction section and handed him the book. I felt like I had to say, "you didn't strike me as a Willa Cather fan when you walked in."

"She's so special," he replied. He paid for the book and left. Awesome, I thought to myself. Bloody awesome.

Skip ahead a few hours. I was feeling peckish after work, so I stopped by a favorite local pizza place, Ian's, for a slice. As I exited the restaurant I heard a booming voice shout, "Hey, Boswell!" It was my au courant Harley rider friend, enjoying some pizza with his rider buddies on their bikes.

I couldn't help but notice the sidecar...

"Y'know, it's been kind of a bucket list dream of mine to ride in the sidecar of a Harley," I half-joked.

"Well, get your ass in."

So there I was, riding down North Avenue in the sidecar of a Harley-Davidson, driven by a stranger, with a box of pizza in my lap, giddy with childlike joy. Thank you Dave the Harley rider from Pittsburgh, wherever you are. Bloody awesome.



  1. My son has a high school friend he still sees some dozen years after they graduated. Nice kid, did a stint in the Marines before he came back to Minnesota.

    My son told his friend about my novel coming out and his friend said, my great aunt was a writer, too.

    Of course everyone is proud of having a writer somewhere in the family, even if they think a novel could be nonfiction or fiction, as long as it's a thick book and doesn't have pictures.

    He says you might have heard of her.

    Okay, but not likely I'd know she was related to Mike... Oh, my God... Cather!

    Turns out the ex-Marine has a nice set of first editions, and I learned I'd always pronounced his great aunt's name with too Cath-olic a "th."

  2. Super awesome. Just as you can't judge a book by it's cover, you can't judge the Harley rider by his gear. (I'm a former bookseller and rode for 10 years.)

  3. Great story. Too bad you didn't snap a picture.

  4. Awesome story. Good customer service is appreciated.