Saturday, March 15, 2008


Heading down I-275 on a Saturday morning, we crossed the Howard Frankland bridge towards Pinellas County, hauling the Airstream trailer behind. A couple gallons later, we arrived at downtown St. Petersburg, to peddle our artists’ books as outsiders during the annual Triathlon at the Vinoy Park, a venue sure to bring people traffic. Since many at the event would be obviously preoccupied with athletic things, we focused on the spectators. My first encounter was with a little woman named Clarice. She was there to watch her grandson. Clarice said she never went to museums, but she collected figurines and her walls weren’t covered with any art, but with photos of her 13 children and their children. She liked to line them up in staggered grids of 13 by 13. After she browsed a while, I showed her Judy Gelles’ Florida Family Portraits, a book containing portraits and photos of the author’s family taken every year for 20 years.
Ah,” she said, “I wish I was able to do that.”
I asked her what she meant.
“I wish I was able to get everybody together, long enough to capture it. I’m stuck getting individual photos sent to me in cards and I have to line them up next to each other. I hate all those spaces between.”
After minutes of looking, she came back to it and bought it.
I sold about 12 different books that day. I enjoyed being repeatedly surprised by seeing who lingered over what and which books were more saleable than I first expected.
-- time traveling Moving Thought bookmobile participant

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