Eclectic visitors made Burke + Hartnell’s Utopian “Bird Cages” Intelligence Book Bazaar historic

Published August 3, 2010 by goyodelarosa

Revolving cast of art aficionados, book-lovers and music fans visit

Dawn Keough Hartnell, Gregory Hartnell Keough (‘Goyo de la Rosa’)

and David Burke (‘David Jure’) at Casa Arnel 

 

The first to come was the bard of Rockland, David Jure himself, who arrived around 8:30 and went straight out to the deck, where he ensconced himself in his usual manner with two pillows on a chair at the end of the table, rolled and lit up a tobacco cigarette and proceeded to call for coffee, which turned out to be strong and dark, from the exiled Salt Spring Island Coffee Company, discounted from its usual overly high price.

He then proceeded in his somewhat distracted way to scribble his morning pages in his notebook in that distinctive script that is decipherable by only a privileged few.  Such is the modus operandi of a manic genius.

Agustin Luviano Cordero and his friend Ursula arrived around 9:00.

Augustin bought a framed rectangular unsigned serigraph print in the local aboriginal style, in two colours of black and cedar red from David Burke.

 Agustin was also taking still photos with his digital camera, and asked permission to take a few shots of the Virgen de Guadalupe print in our bedroom.  

It was a pleasure to see and chat with my old Mexican-Canadian friend that I have known since the time of Baba Books in the early 80s, and to get to know his enigmatic friend a little bit more.

Next came our esteemed friend in the arts, Fernwood’s poetess Genine Hanns, author of Ekstasis EditionsThe Language of Water. 

Steve Weatherbe arrived next, and I introduced him to the assembled group on the small driveway, which by then included Genine and David. 

I commended Steve for his courage in reporting on pro-life issues at the University of Victoria in postings at his new Victoria’s Faith blogsite and elsewhere, and we both agreed that the victory of the Youth Protecting Youth student pro-life group in fighting the discrimination of the University of Victoria Students’ Society was rare good news for the anti-abortion movement.

This set off a protestation from Genine who declared herselft ‘pro-choice.’

She said she had written a poem about the subject of a woman’s dilemmas concerning abortion, and that it was published in an anthology.

I told her I had read the poem and found it ambiguous.

She really objected to that, taking it personally.

Ironically enough, I ended up buying a copy of her 2009 book and later that evening was distressed to see that the damn poem is in that book too.

Steve left with a copy of a book on the life of the vicious racist sex addict Margaret Sanger, founder of the racist pro-abort Planned Parenthood outfit.

Yule Heibel, a retired Harvard professor of art history, dear old friend and Rockland neighbour came  next with her son Adam Bahlke and their dog Jiggers.

I commended Yule to all and sundry for her great work on the Johnson Street Bridge Organization website, and Adam on his recently published synopsis at JSB.org on the problems pertaining to the heritage bascule.

Yule was careful to note that she had not had any hand in the design of the website, crediting that to Mat Wright and WordPress, and that Adam’s synopsis got published on its own merits, without any help from her. 

My wife Dawn took Yule on a tour of our upstairs renovations and they no doubt talked about design, materials, tradesmen, their foibles and interior decorating generally.

My sister Roxanna Hartnell, brother John Hartnell and his lady friend Marcia came, which was very gratifying for me.  John ended up buying two of my art pieces and a whole box full of books and magazines at a price yet to be determined.

A new friend of Dawn’s and mine, Georgia who recently moved into the Rockland neighbourhood (as a matter of fact into the Laurels right across the street from Yule and Adam), bought a full colour art paperback book on the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and a hard cover album of colour photos from Czarist Russia. 

Around siesta time, David became exhausted, having been up for many hours, and so begged leave to depart, which he did, leaving Dawn and I to hold the fort.

When Dawn had to go to work just before 3:00, I asked Werner Bahlke, Adam Balke’s father and Yule Heibel’s husband, to hold the fort for ten minutes while I drove her down to one of her two jobs, that being the Baptist Housing Society‘s Mount Edward Care Home, where she worked for double time that day, it being a statutory holiday, and she being in the once militant union.

Werner graciously did watch over things, and I was very grateful to him, Yule, Adam and even Jiggers for coming to our bazaar, even though the latter pissed on our sidewalk (true, but just kidding)!

I am grateful also to all of our other visitors, friends and strangers alike, and particularly to the elderly gentleman named ‘Jack’ who is also a bookseller and former soccer player for half a century.

This unusual character, who holds David Burke in very high esteem, gave us a whole box of books to sell, for which I am very grateful to him, and for which I traded him a rectangular hardcover history of the houses and buildings of Victoria, by an author whose name escapes me, but which was replete with many old black and white photos of Victoria in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and imagined scenes done in watercolour. 

I also had a pleasant encounter with Patrick Plunkett, our neighbour in an adjacent old mansion who is the treasurer of the Union Club and has invited us to consider joining that pillar of the Establishment, to which invitation I graciously declined.

Another interesting chap was a fellow who bought two big hard cover cookbooks. He had been in the food industry for half a century, and was now marketing a type of organic free range chicken meat sausage (I think), but the product’s name escapes me… Mrs. something or other’s… and it is available at Lifestyle and the Market on Yates, so I promised him I would look for it and try it out, even though I would never in a million years otherwise think of buying such a product.

Will we buy it?  Dawn probably wouldn’t approve…

I also want to mention meeting Amy and Jude, an unusal couple, he from Quebec, Quebec and she from New York via Denver.

Amy is involved with the monthly poetry nights recently set up at Serious Coffee in the Cook Street Village.

We had a wonderful time talking about art, music and  social justice activism with another of our neighbours, a lawyer-musician who is a cousin of my old friend Kent Mundy, the drummer, actor and then fellow hippy I knew from Victoria High School.

On behalf of David Burke, Genine Hanns and my dear wife Dawn, I wish to express my appreciation to all those friends, neighbours and the merely curious strangers who came to our annual bazaar this year.

I would especially like to thank L’il Ed Wright of the Diamond Eagle Blues Band, my dear old friend from the psychedelic past who still plays guitar and blues harp, and sings with a powerful voice.

He brought his guitar, but forgot his pick, so rigged one up from an old plastic credit card or such that he cut with some scisors, and played and sang for us.  He even took a request from David Burke to sing his song entitled ‘England.’

I had put aside a special album by Sunny Terry and Brownie McGee which I hoped that he did not have.

Sure enough, he did not have it in his collection, but said he was thrilled to have the album, as they had encouraged him personally when they came here in the sixties.

I look forward to doing another bazaar next year, probably on the Labour Day weekend, although Dawn wants me to do another on this Labour Day weekend, which is a matter for a debate for a day or two, but I doubt that I want to do two sales so close to one another.

Thanks, everyone, for an intellectually stimulating, fun and profitable sale!

 

‘Goyo de la Rosa’

 

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