Friday, February 09, 2007

Guest Writer: The Incident at Cafe Lois

The E-mail of the Week Award goes to Jamie, who I had the good fortune of working with in Tennessee.
From: jamie
Subject: million
Date: February 6, 2007 4:22:56 AM PST

Photo: Jamie, circa 1987, sees his boss on the street and salutes, which is only fitting


I just read your last email to me again. It's the one where you responded to my struggle with my business partner, and told me that I could come to San Francisco to become an Anything. Near the bottom, you wrote something along the lines of, "You'll be a success at whatever you decide to do."

Do you know that you told me that about a million years ago? When I was your intern at Whittle, you said: "If you decided to be a doctor, you'd be the best doctor. And if you decide to be an art director, you'll be the best art director." Do you know how much something like that meant to a 22-year-old who was still trying to figure everything out? I never forgot it. And later I tried so hard to be that kind of boss-- the kind that you and Evie were-- when I had interns and young designers and other eager beavers to deal with. I think I was good at it.

It's cold and grey and beautiful here.


After his stint at the publishing company in TN, Jamie moved to New York and did tons of freelance for WWD and NY Times magazine. Then he became art director at Marie Claire, then Details; then he became creative director at Fitness.
But what's he doing now?
you might ask.

Dear Linda,

Because I now get to see what you look like on a regular
basis, I thought that it was about time I sent you a pic
as proof that I was actually living in Berlin and running
a kaffeehaus, like I said I was.

Some notes about this pic: It's from the summer before
last. I'm not nearly as blond* these days-- at the moment
I'm growing out of a 9mm buzz cut that I had all summer
and loved and loved. And my color is natural again. Well,
you know. I borrowed the pose, circa 1978, from Janice
Pennington, my favorite Price is Right model who was
force-retired in 2000. I had ALWAYS wanted to stand like
that. Look at my feet.

*(I think I may never be blond again after the incident at
cafe Lois that I will describe for you, below.)
A handsome new male customer arrives, takes a seat
directly in front of me at the bar, and stares and stares
and stares. We strike up a conversation. I feel good
vibrations all over the place. I think: THIS is why I
wanted to have a bar in Berlin. At some point, his stare
intensifies and he gets this peculiar look on his face.

Him: "You remind me of that guy. You know, the
entertainer... the celebrity. What's his name. Tom
something... Tom, Tom....?"

(I'm confused.)

Me: "Cruise?" I suggest, helpfully.

Him: "PETTY!", he half-shouts, happy to have remembered at last.

I buzzed the blond off a few days afterwards.

Miss you Linda,