D.G. Wills & Montaigne

Shortly before leaving San Diego, I decided to have a “treat yo self” kind of afternoon. That meant:

  1. having a cappuccino at the Pannikin in downtown La Jolla with all the cute umbrellas hanging around, and then
  2. walking next door to the D.G. Wills bookstore.

Inside the D.G. Wills bookstore. I’m looking out from the literature section.

The owner is D.G. Wills (or Dennis if you’re on a first name basis). The first time I met him he was watching a football game on an old analog TV with an antenna. I forget who played who, but it must have been important. He has something to say for just about any book I decide to get, which makes me wonder about how much reading he’s done over his lifetime. This time it was The Complete Essays of Montaigne, translated by Donald Frame.

“Thirty-seven years ago I challenged myself to read an essay from Montaigne each day. Then the phone rang.”

He didn’t challenge me to read an essay from Montaigne a day, but I’m going to pretend he did. 107 essays total sounds like a lot, but with titles like “Of Friendship”, “Of Smells”, and “Let Business Wait Till Tomorrow”, what’s not to look forward to?


All I know about Montaigne is that he's a French nobleman who fell off his horse during the 1500s, nearly died, and then took on a more irreverent approach to philosophy, writing, and life. He's been dead for centuries, *and* his thoughts on everyday matters are fun to read.

Can the same be said for this blog? uhhh maybe if I have grandkids or something.


the neighborhood fruit stand

I was on my way to Colleen’s and speaking with my brother on the phone when I passed by Liliane’s fruit stand. She was selling fruit from her family garden outside the garage. “We’ve got a sweet deal — six pieces of fruit for one dollar!” How could I say no to her big toothy grin? I told her I’d be back after my phone call, but she still followed me on her scooter for several hundred feet.

I kept my word and bought two persimmons, three tangerines, and one lemon. That included Thomas the Tangerine, and Tommy the Lemon. (“Sorry they’re kinda green, my brother colored them”)

Tommy the Lemon. Thomas The tangerine has a similar expression.


Just before Thanksgiving some other kids opened a snow cone stand, even though winter is approaching. Colleen and I went in anyway.

She says she tries to stop by these kinds of makeshift stands whenever she can. Lemonade, fruit, snow cones, anything. It’s a fun way to support the neighborhood children, and they’re generally excited to have any patron.

I think that’s a good principle to live by, so I’m going to adopt it, too.