It was the middle of the Saturday afternoon PAWA/Arkipelago Books reading at the Bayanihan Community Center at 1010 Mission Street. Myrna del Rio was singing (that woman has such a rich, smoky contralto!) to the accompaniment of fab Bo Razon on guitar. There was a kind of whispering going on in the back rows. Niece G’s friend, Steven, saw him first. Then, Edwin Lozada came up and announced, “We’d like to thank the Mayor of San Francisco for his presence,” and self turned around and
There in the flesh was Gavin Newsom!
And he looked exactly like his pictures!
And he was super-tall! Like maybe at least 6 foot three!
And he was wearing a very nice gray suit!
And he was soooo handsome!
And then, self was so glad she had already finished reading by the time he walked in! Or her jaw would have hit the floor!
Anyhoo, he stayed for a while and then wandered out again, but after he left, Barbara Reyes, who was the Master of Ceremonies, remarked, “Isn’t that just so random? He just walks in, and walks out again, and no one knows where he went!”
He was all by himself, and self got a vivid picture of the Mayor walking by himself all around the City (It was a very fine Saturday afternoon), dropping in wherever the spirit moves him.
And, by the way, the event today? It was great. Everyone was on their A game. Justin Chin was sooo funny (and self was so glad he led off). Then, self, and she needed a mike but – salamat sa Dios! – she was able to handle reading her story without too much stumbling around. Then, the musical performers — Myrna del Rio, Bo Razon, and Carlos Zialcita — were just GREAT! Self wanted to jump up and start dancing! Then, the afternoon climaxed with Sarah Gambito, and for such a tiny woman she has a big, big presence and her poetry is just incredible!
So, it was a wonderful afternoon, and self even got to exchange a few words with Merlinda Bobis and Alleluia Panis! And Liza Erpelo was there! And Penelope Flores! And Karen Llagas, whose first book of poetry is being published next year! And of course Edwin Lozada, whose organization, PAWA, was co-sponsor of the event!
And self found out that the painting hanging just behind the cash register of Arkipelago Books (executed in Amorsolo style — fetching dalaga in native dress) is of Marie Romero herself!
Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.