June 29th, 2019

Hopper_Night_Windows

Booked

I got to Save Mart today and bought some stuff, but ended up paying more for it than I'd expected. I didn't find this out until I got home and checked the register receipt. That store has been doing this too often lately. Today I bought a donut and they charged for a bear claw. I bought three peaches that were supposed to be on sale but they charged regular price. The did the same thing with three mangoes a couple of weeks ago. It might be that I won't be buying produce at that store anymore. At least not until they hire somebody who knows how to program the computer to ring up the actual advertised prices.

This evening I found a couple more books at the Goodwill store. One is a big coffee table book with photos and thumbnail biographies of 200 famous people from the 20th century. There are black and white photos of artists, musicians, politicians, scientists, actors, activists, writers— just about every sort of iconic figure, stating with Jane Addams and ending with Emiliano Zapata. The photographs themselves are from a variety of sources, but include some from photographers who are themselves iconic, like Cecil Beaton and Henri Cartier Bresson. Not a bad snag for three bucks, and it's in good condition (though lacking the dust cover, alas.)

The other is a book I was familiar with because I once checked it out of the library when it was first published back in 1963. It is The Overland Limited, by Lucius Beebe. For those who might never have heard of Beebe (which is probably almost everybody these days) he was one of the oddest characters of his time (1902 to 1966) and very much not of it. He lived and breathed the Victorian age, and wrote (in some of the most florid prose of his non-time) book after book about that era he had just missed. Overland is about the Union Pacific's crack passenger train that ran from Chicago to San Francisco for many decades, though Bebe provides no photos of its later incarnation as a diesel-powered streamliner. The most recent photo I've found in the book is of a semi-stremlined steam engine pulling the train in 1938.

The remarkable thing about this copy of the book is that must be a very early edition, as the price on the (intact) dust jacket is $5.95, which this publisher has not charged in ages. That's only a bit more than twice what I paid for it today— though adjusted for inflation it is of course close to twenty times what I paid. But despite the age of the copy I bought it is in almost pristine condition. The dust jacket even has one of those protective mylar covers such as libraries use, though there's no evidence that this copy was ever the property of a library. It's like somebody bought it and stuck it on a shelf for 55 years and then it got donated to Goodwill. I've actually been haunting that store partly in hope of finding a copy of another Bebe book, San Francisco's Golden Era, my copy of which went up in flames with everything else. I wish the guy who owned the book I bought today had had a copy of that one too.

Obviously I didn't get to Safeway today, which means I won't get a couple of items that were on their Friday only sale, but there are other thins I want this week so I'm hoping that ride does come through by Tuesday. Sooner would be better, as the days are heating up again, and by Tuesday it's going to be back into the mid-nineties. Gee, these mere low eighties days have been nice. I wonder if we'll get any more of them before September?