Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Fond Farewell to a One-time Customer

It was a slow Saturday afternoon, back in the late 1980's or early 1990s. Only one customer in the store. A woman, browsing the biography section. Susan, who was working the counter with me, put her hand over her mouth and whispered, “I think that's Lauren Bacall!”

“Really?” I answered skeptically. But glancing at the profile of the woman's face, I had to admit that she
could indeed be Lauren Bacall. But how were we going to know for sure? I mean, you just don't walk up to someone and ask them if they are Lauren Bacall. And bookstore policy has always been that we leave people alone so they can browse without being bothered.

Luckily, Ms Bacall helped us out. She turned toward Susan and me and asked a question. And as soon as we heard that deep, smoky voice, there was no question. This was Lauren Bacall, browsing in The Regulator.

As I recall, we had the book she was looking for, and she bought it. Susan and I stayed cool, no screaming, no asking for an autograph. But of course we were excited. So much so that I have no memory of what the book was that Lauren Bacall bought. But I think she had a pleasant, quiet time, browsing in our bookstore that day.

Thanks for the memories, Ms Bacall.
--Tom Campbell