Between the Sheets (of paper).

I tell people that I’ve found all sorts of things tucked between the pages of books that come into the shop. Everything but money.

I’ve never even come across a single dollar bill.

There was a woman once that semi-accused me, though. She popped in, gesturing frantically, claiming to have left her rent payment in a book she had dropped off. Seven-hundred-something-smackeroos.

It was true that she dropped off some books, but there was no cash involved and I told her so. Regrettably, I had not found any sum at all. She glared at me. Stopped waving her arms. Glared some more.

Sorry, I repeated. Didn’t find any money.

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And I could tell by her expression that – in her head – there was a whole line of thinking there about me and my denials. In short, she was thinking that I HAD found it, but was lying about it.

That’s not my style.

She returned the next day to let me know that she had found her rent money hidden in the kitchen (probably in that hiding place…) and she just wanted to let me know. Didn’t say she was sorry that she had accused me. In truth, she hadn’t said such a thing aloud.

But she did return, I think, because she knew that I knew that she was thinking just that very thing.

I was glad she found the cash.

Things I find in books are generally interesting, if not negotiable. A hastily-written last will and testament. (He survived the health scare, obviously, since he brought in the bag of books.) A valid passport. Receipts. Prescriptions.

And bookmarks from book shops in exotic locales.

Like “Ten Directions Books,” Taos, New Mexico. (From the bookmarker: Ten Directions – north, south, east, west, the four intermediate points, and the zenith and the nadir. In Buddhism this encompasses the whole cosmos. So says the marker.) A little research turned up a death notice for its proprietor Allan Clevenger some years ago, and apparently the shop did not survive his departure.

Not the case with Moe’s Books.

Do you have enough books? NO! I need Moe, Moe, Moe books! The SF Chronicle says “India has the Taj Mahal. Berkeley has Moe’s Books. Still in business, with a website on the internet that validates it.

Four floors of used, new & sale books – open every day. Says so right on the bookmarker.

Presumably, one of Moe’s books made it to Broken Arrow, OK – since I found the proof tucked between the pages.

But still – no dollar bills.

Magnanimous Magazine.

Mystery solved. At least partly.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had comments about our “ad” or “article” from folks who have come in for lunch.

Huh?

Today, the gentleman making the reference trotted out to his car and grabbed his copy of the magazine, which he had brought as a guide to our location. Wow! A full-page article, complete with photographs, hours, phone number, and website address.

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Not only that, but it was a nicely written, flattering article, that was pleasing enough to me that I read it twice.

Lindsay Morris is the author, and I owe a debt of gratitude for the kind press, however surreptitiously researched. Guerilla journalism, in a way, because – you would assume that someone would be noticed as they moved about a shop taking pictures.

Not the case.

In the immortal words of Sgt. Schultz (Hogan’s Heroes, Google it…) “I see NOTHING! I know NOTHING!” Granted, the photographs were taken during the lunch hour, when I was more than likely trotting around from table to table, old man style.

Reading the article, I did recall a brief exchange with a lunch guest – specifically, a book title mentioned in the article and the specifics of a shepherd’s pie presentation. Didn’t know I was being interviewed for a magazine article though.

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Having done a number of Q and A sessions (on both sides of the reporter’s notepad), I’m guessing that was among the most painless ever, with about as pleasing a result as could be expected.

Obviously, the magazine has a readership, since it has been mentioned here in the shop several times already, with its January 2018 date.

Our thanks to the author and editors for honoring us with an inclusion!

True Grit from the Wichita Lineman.

I didn’t remember it, but one of the stars of the 1969 film True Grit – was Glen Campbell, who played La Boeuf, a Texas Ranger. I probably didn’t remember it because I’m pretty certain I never saw the movie.

The BIG star, of course, was John Wayne. And that may be the reason that I never saw it. (I was never that big a fan of Mr Wayne, an admission I put in parenthesis to keep it on the down-low.)

After reading the Wiki listing, I now know that Glen Campbell also sang the theme song, which made the music charts back then. That’s Back Then, as in – back when movies began with a fixed camera shot while the opening credits rolled up the screen.

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That was also Back When I didn’t ever listen to country music (a practice I have since changed). Back When I didn’t watch Westerns – movies or TV shows – or read Old West fiction. Times do change.

I still don’t read a lot of western books, but True Grit is a genuine classic, in my opinion. It’s also fun to read, in that it takes place in this general area, with specific references to McAlester, Oklahoma, where I graduated high school. (…and where someone who REALLY liked John Wayne also attended, thus the above down-low admission.)

All of that makes the book that came in today all the more special.

I’ve written about True Grit before, about how author Charles Portis was able to weave authentic western Arkansas colloquial phrases into stretches of dialogue that are almost poetic. The book was an instant hit when it was released in 1968, and Mr Wayne won his only Academy Award for his performance just a year later.

The First Edition hardback that arrived today features an inscription on the title page, hand-written by Glen Campbell that reads “You’re gentle on my mind, always.” Gentle on My Mind, of course, was the name of the theme song for the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, his popular variety show. (Variety shows used to be popular. That was before they invented Reality.)

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I’m sure the book would be more valuable if signed by Charles Portis. Probably John Wayne’s signature is more collectible than that of Glen Campbell. As it is, I’m happy to have in the shop a copy of one of the most memorable western stories ever to be made into a couple of movies.

The movie opening is available on YouTube, and was an instant reminder of the singing abilities of Glen Campbell, regardless of his acting skills.

Now, if I can just get the book to talk I’ll learn all about how it went from the hands of Glen Campbell – circa 1969 – all the way to Broken Arrow, OK, 2017.

Might be a great story right there!