Author readings – San Francisco

Coit Tower, San Francisco.

I am not going to moan. I am going to celebrate.

I hadn’t been in San Francisco for 27 years. What a delight! Though I happily live on my small island, and relish the quiet, I was raised in big cities, especially London. I love the buzz of them. And having just 24 hours in San Fran I devoted myself to hanging in the hip area of North Beach.

Ah, to be 20 years younger and live there for a while! Little Italy with its fab coffee and pastries. The wonderful Sodini’s and their gnocchi. Meeting people everywhere – the Hungarian emigre Tom who runs Music 101, an eclectic music store. Steve and Allison at the bar who made fortunes at dotcom but were jealous that I wrote books (They wouldn’t be jealous of my credit line!) Steve, who had demonstrated at London’s Grosvenor Square in ’68 and manned the Paris barricades that same year. I am such a lucky traveler – just fall into conversations and steal glimpses into other people’s lives.

I ate, drank, shopped – a book at City Lights catching the echoes of the Beats. Vintage clothes at Old Vogue on Grant where I bought a 50’s car coat that looks like Jimmie Dean could have worn it. Music – I seem to be going through a vintage phase there, with CD’s of The Who, ELP, Eurythmics.

Sounds for the road… which took me to my reading at Copperfields bookstore in Petaluma, Sonoma. And if there were only five people there two of them were old friends from my Hollywood days – Doug Barr and his artist wife Clare. I guested on an episode of The Fall Guy back in the 80’s and Doug was one of the stars. We bonded then over squash – and rebonded over wine, because he is now a winemaker in the Napa valley. I type this in their gorgeous ranch home above the valley, and yesterday was given the full tour of the wine process, tasting the early stages from the barrel, drinking the end result over crab and vodka rissotto that night.

So I only sold 2 copies? Good will was spread and adventures had. I don’t think I need to focus on hard copies. Word is spreading, adventures are being had.

And now I am off to Portland, Oregon and my event there at Powell’s Beaverton tomorrow night. I know I should get a bigger crowd there as I have taught there several times. But if they do not come – it’s still a great place to hang out. There are people to encounter, tales to be told.

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