Saturday was the day for a book signing at Page after Page Books in Elizabeth City. I'd say it went well, both in terms of the quantity of books sold and the quality of the people visiting the store. Only one was absent. Let me explain.
Many years ago, I worked around the corner at the Daily Advance, a newspaper serving the small city and surrounding counties. I was the editor of the Lifestyles section, a position now held by a fellow who graciously ran a story about me on Thursday in the paper. (Thanks to Robert Kelly-Goss!) Back then, the bookstore was owned by Suzan (with a Z) Small, and we became fast friends.
When I set up the book signing, I fully expected her to be my point of contact. I made references to our relationship, and was puzzled by the lukewarm response. Surely, she must remember me, I mused. Arriving at the shop with books in hand, I was greeted by the steady manager Sharon. She showed me to my appointed table and did her paperwork on the books, then returned to her work, leaving me to my own devices.
The book signing now in full progress, I signed books, chatted up the customers, and enjoyed watching sailboats docking across Water Street, remembering my days as a team member on a racing boat, a J-24, that owned the water beyond those docks.
One customer mentioned she'd read the article about me, and tried to piece when I was in town. We compared notes. She asked if I knew her sister-in-law, who used to own this book store.
"You mean Suzan with a Z Small?"
"Yes, she sold it to ANOTHER Susan."
Oh. That explains everything.
Now that we got that straight, the woman was typing a note to Suzan on her I-Pad (or whatever it was). "Tell her I said hey. Long story short, Suzan and I reconnected briefly and virtually -- and her sister-in-law bought a book for her. Small world, neat coincidences.