Friday, March 25, 2011

Pushcarts And Promotion

Long before I was born, my immigrant great-grandfather (one of them) moved into his daughter's fine house in Kansas City, Missouri.   At the time, Aunt Bess (my great-aunt) had married the father of the then mayor of the city and lived large.

She was a flamboyant woman although I knew her only briefly and in the sunset years of her life.   She married multiple times, divorced when it just wasn't done, and did things with her own style.   Members of the older generation used to tell me that I reminded them of Bess and I always took that as a compliment.  

My great-grandfather, Reinhard, was a Jew.  Although he was a stonemason by trade, he was also known to peddle whatever he could to make a buck.   He might buy a batch of helium filled balloons to sell to kids on the street, hold an impromptu raffle with his watch, or whatever.

He lived in his daughter's basement in a simple but furnished room.   One fine afternoon as she was out motoring around with her society lady friends, they came across a "poor old man", barefoot who trundled a pushcart of wares through the streets.   Her friends babbled with pity about the man, the pitiful peddlar, while Aunt Bess fumed in silence.

Then she went home and cut loose her anger on her father who had been doing this for a long time without her knowledge.

I have no doubt that there was more to the story but the above version is all that came down to me.  

In recent moments, I find myself thinking of Reinhard because just as he peddled his wares whenever he could, I'm peddling and promoting my books.   Our methods may be different but our goal - to sell all we can - is the same.

Talk about genetic traits or family traditions.

I like it.

So go buy Love Tattoo already.

1 comment:

  1. I love learning about people’s life histories. That’s a very interesting story. It’s also nice that you found a trait that both of you possess.

    According to my grandmother (and I don’t know how true it is) I’m related to a French novelist who lived during the first half of the 1800s. I did some research on him and learned that he was one of the first people to start writing realistic fiction about real people. Before him, it was all about royalty and higher society, but his work was about the servants and the poor. Supposedly, other others were so inspired with his writing style, they started imitating it and became world famous by writing about characters who are down on their luck rather than those who have everything.

    Also, I looked up my real last name online once (as it’s a very rare last name) and learned that I’m related to one of the three wise men and that I’m related to Marie Antoinette. Personally, I don’t believe I’m related to that many impressive people, but occasionally it’s fun to think ‘what if’.


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