Running a bookstore can be a surreal experience, but last night might have set a new standard. About 6:30, as we were preparing for a quiet evening with the Needlework Night gang, the door opened and a tall young man walked in. “Vould you mind iff ve shot a music fideo here?” he asked.
Uh, no, we said, and his German accent deepened with his smile. “That iss vunderful! Dank you!” Out he went. Ten minutes later two people we’d never met before introduced themselves as “If Birds Could Fly.” Her name was Brittany. I didn’t hear his name, but we’d heard of the band; they had a good reputation among our music-loving friends, so we just said “our house is your house and please don’t let the dogs out” and let it roll.
With Brittany and her mystery musician husband were Meghan-the-photographer and Sebastian-the-producer, he of the lovely accent. They set up some lighting equipment, did some furniture moving, and sat back and waited.
For what, we weren’t quite sure, but Sebastian had said something about a woman called Jenna Elfman….
Now please keep in mind that Jack and I don’t have a television. We lived in Scotland for the first seven years of our marriage. So we only knew that this was an actress in town to film the Big Stone Gap movie, and that Sebastian said she’d agreed to do a video for If Birds Could Fly. Yeah, okay, let it roll; they all seemed like nice people, and Meghan was showing us her beautiful portraits of children and moms, so time flew by as we waited. She does fantastic photography.
Ms. E showed up about 8 pm and suddenly the bookstore was full of people, laughter, cats, and cameras. The band filmed and pronounced it good, and we passed around celebratory libations. Yeah, we didn’t know them, but they seemed like nice people, and fun artistic types. Any excuse for a party, right? “Cuppa? Glass of?” All was mirth and merriment.
Here’s where it started to get surreal……
Down from the kitchen came Kelley, our master chef at Second Story Cafe, with fresh-made pumpkin bars. Those got passed around amid enthusiastic delight at their flavor and abundance. Max the foster cat wandered in, and next thing I know he and Jenna were cuddled in the armchair, carrying on like old friends. I think she fed him a pumpkin bar. People were swapping stories and having fun: just another night in the bookstore, with a movie star, two band members, a batch of fresh baked goods, a bunch of tripods, and a foster cat, all held together by a bottle of Scotch.
Yeah, bookslinging is a crazy business, but we love our life here. If Brittany ever brings back that nice musician that is her husband, I’m gonna get his name. We like people who make good music. Jenna Elfman was sweet, and we are glad artists who run around filling the world with happy things exist. Max and his sister Chloe were adopted the day after he got the tummy rub shown here. Life is good.
You can check If Birds Could Fly out on Facebook. And they seemed like really nice people, so I think we’ll get their CD. And someday, Brittany, please introduce me to your husband!