Painter Richard Kathmann saved me from the zero-dollar doldrums. Kathmann is from New York and is on his way to New Mexico. We talked about landscape, poverty and Cormac McCarthy. He asked if my community supported me. In an age where most find their community online, that's a loaded question. I kept it simple and admitted that the store wasn't doing all that well.
"Oh," he said. "Then I'll need to buy a book."
I was only too happy to serve him. I led him about the store, talking on and on about my favorite authors. He was tolerant, a regular gentleman. I pointed to Russell Banks, an author from Kathmann's side of the country. Here, dear reader, you may dummy slap me. Why wasn't I thinking of writers who wrote about my side of the country? I steered the conversation to Linda Hogan, Laura Pritchett, Mari Sandoz, and Willa Cather. He didn't buy any of Linda Hogan's books, but he did buy a little of all the rest.
And I thank him for it.
And I wish him the best.
If you want 20% off any of Mari Sandoz's books, come to the store through Sunday the 21st and tell the proprietor that she needs to be dummy slapped.