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Sunday, April 30, 2023

Remembering Jon Strongbow

Our friend Seattle artist Jon Strongbow passed away suddenly in December.  His family has organized a memorial for him this Tuesday afternoon at Pike Place Market, where he sold his art for a long time and lived in an artist's space the last couple of years.

We had been friends of  Jon's for more than twenty-something years and held him in the highest regard.  We met Jon when we had a retail store on Pike and we sold his publications, which we continue to do in our online store  He used to live up the street from us in Madrona and we would often see him biking up the hill on Union in front of our house, and he would regularly stop by for visits in our front garden or back balcony during the pandemic. 

Masks Required

He was a lover and collector of books, especially comics, graphic novels, and sci fi,  and always showed up at our summer outdoor book sale, leaving with bags of books balanced on his bicycle handles.  He often asked us to order books for him he found online because he didn't have a credit card (perhaps distrusting banks?).  Jon was always friendly, kind, and upbeat.  My favorite quote from his book Ocean of Time, which depicts detailed, accurate cityscapes of Seattle with people from native cultures in ritual costumes celebrating life (the theme of all his work) is "Most people don't seem to understand or appreciate how precious & magical life really is." 


Concrete River


Jon was very supportive of other artists -- publishing a book on Pike Place Market buskers and a beautiful hardback book on local collage artists that came out just a month before he died called Northwest Mystic Collage that Sean and I are very pleased to be included in.

I can imagine Jon now as a spirit -- joining the masked native figures dancing and playing music in the streets of Seattle that he depicted in his artwork.


 Jon Strongbow and Kam (Pistil photographer) outside our front gate - both dressed as they normally are.

Here's Jon shopping for books by bike at the Pistil outdoor book sale.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Found in Books February 2022

 Our Found in Books collection this time features a vaccination card circa 1971.  "Mike" a red Irish Setter received his rabies vaccine.  

Why yes, I do have a restless urge to write.

And someone cut out the images of Tarzan book covers from a calendar - more muscles and tan skin, please.

A poor drawing of a fancy chandelier, photo booth strip, and map of an Indian temple are some of the other found ephemera in the past few months.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Found in Books, May 2021

It's been an entire year since I last posted photos from my "Found in Books" file.  This edition's presentation from May 2020 to May 2021 features a lot of the classic FIB material:  Ticket stubs, boarding passes, photo booth strips, naked guy photo, drawings, travel brochures, letters, receipts, and photocopied book pages.

Some of the more unusual findings are a JC Penney full-page color ad for $8 "antifreeze flannel shirts"; a postage-paid postcard to the Washington State Employment Service (a.k.a. "unemployment office") with a doodle and some notes; a yellow index card with two-sided lists of 61 birds seen in July 2006 in shaky ballpoint pen; a currency exchange rate card with pesos and dollars from Pardo's Gift Shop in Mazatlan, probably from the fifties or sixties; and a ticket to the haunted house, "The House that Eats People," sponsored by NEAT, a non-profit corp.  


There was also a faded pasteboard sign wisely advising, "Pay Your Grocer FIRST.  When you pay your bills, give your Grocer FIRST MONEY.  He supplies you with what you need most--FOOD;" an order form for Modern Taxidermy Books; a Red Cross card for someone who completed CPR - ADULT.  And a poignant list with two columns:  "Observable Change" (try to be more organized and neater, try to [down arrow] internet porn) and "What is Changing"  ([up arrow] weight, [up arrow] road rage)."

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Long Live Mr. Zip!


Troy Carlson, Captain of Packing and Shipping at Pistil Books, proudly displays his Mr. Zip t-shirt.  Troy walks all our packages to the Post Office several times a week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Masks Required

 Our local Metro buses have been showing "Essential Trips Only" and "Masks Required" on their signs during the pandemic.  With this in mind, Seattle artist and friend of Pistil Books, Jon Strongbow, showed us his latest drawing today:

You can purchase books of Jon's work here.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Pistil Photo Essay

Here's a look into a small online book business.

Our entrance off the alley.
Meet Whiskey, our new bookstore kitty, age 5 months.

Stacks waiting to be shelved.

Sean's stack of books to read on his desk.

Recycled blank books and toaster boy.

Artwork by James Koehnline, R. Crumb, and Jon Strongbow.
Bookmark collection and tiny books.
Plenty of reading material in the throne room.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Found in Books - Spring 2020 Edition

It's spring cleaning time, and time to empty our "Found in Books" folder and start anew.

This time we have some of the old standbys--  bookmarks, invitations, photographs, boarding passes, transit tickets, receipts, drawings--  plus some new book inserts that we haven't seen before:  computer programming cards, an information request card for "Nuclear Diodes, Inc."

Postcards, early computer printout, bar mitzvah invitation, drawing of train on tracing paper, and pamphlet for the Sixth International Congress of Radiation Research.

There was also a pink note stuck into a book titled, Mud Pies & Other Recipes that said, "I always thought it was a waste of good pie in a  pie throwing but I would enjoy seeing this one, wouldn't you?"

A note on the back of this owl/deer/heart artwork says, "For the best couple ever."

"After seeing children in grammar school at play, doing very active activities, I've come to the conclusion that childrens wear can be very simple and still have that 'darling' look."  This paper titled  "Field Trip to Grammar School" received an "A".

This Dodge Dart was serviced regularly with detailed record-keeping.

Someone had a very large and carefully-kept Agnes Moorehead clipping collection.

Agnes, Baby!  She was Endora on "Bewitched."