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  • 25 years ago today...

    My wife and I opened a Mystery Bookstore called "Murder Ink" in Cambria, CA. 8 Months later, we changed the name to "Foul Play" because the NY Store called "Murder Ink" sent us a cease and desist letter.

    Because we were just off the main tourist street, every weekend, I would lay on the corner of Main Street and Arlington Avenue and my wife would trace an outline of my body. Then we would trace footsteps leading towards our store. Along the way, we would leave items from clue. The items not included on the walk would indicate the who/what/where of the killer and customers correctly identifying the killer would receive 10% off their purchase.

    In the three years we owned the store we hosted book signings with:

    Sue Grafton
    Robert Crais
    Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller
    Les Roberts
    Carolyn Hart
    Mary Higgins Hart
    Julie Smith

    To supplement our meager earnings, my wife worked at the local bank and I waited tables at the Brambles.

    I did a search, but can't find anything about us from those early days. Even though the San Luis Obispo paper did several articles on the store and we were featured on a few local newscasts.

    Here's the restaurant. It's closed, which is a shame because they had been in business for 50 years when I worked their and had the best prime rib and yorkshire pudding that I've ever had.

    http://www.bramblesdinnerhouse.com/splash.html
    www.kingsofthedrink.com







    Originally Posted by Prages


    I think everyone in the world has been lonely at some point in their life...and most of them could have probably written a more betterest song about it.









    Originally Posted by tiger roach


    Once my mom told me not to go outside because there was a bird fight going on. I thought, "Bird fight, WTF? She can't really think I would fall for that crap." So I went outside anyway and a bird pecked me on the head.









    Originally Posted by gennation


    Negatory, even dressed as a man I'm more of a man than you.

  • #2
    And here's a little bit of trivia...They filmed Arachnaphobia in Cambria. The store next to ours, a Victorian Doll Shop, was used as the mortuary.

    John Goodman was a frequent customer and bought a $200 Sherlock Holmes Chess Set.
    www.kingsofthedrink.com







    Originally Posted by Prages


    I think everyone in the world has been lonely at some point in their life...and most of them could have probably written a more betterest song about it.









    Originally Posted by tiger roach


    Once my mom told me not to go outside because there was a bird fight going on. I thought, "Bird fight, WTF? She can't really think I would fall for that crap." So I went outside anyway and a bird pecked me on the head.









    Originally Posted by gennation


    Negatory, even dressed as a man I'm more of a man than you.

    Comment


    • #3
      That is pretty cool that you two took a shot at running your own business like that.

      My wife keeps saying that when we retire she wants to open a restaurant or a bar. **************** that. Retire so I can start working harder than I've ever worked in my life?
      Brian

      "it aint nothin' but a jam"
      -Jimi Hendrix 10-10-68

      Comment


      • #4
        How did you end up in Ohio from California?
        http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

        Comment


        • #5
          Not everyone can be successful.

          Next time go all in, get the best location, solidify your name so you can levy the cease and desist, look towards where you are and where you want to be, etc... Going into it because its a "cool idea" usually it doesn't end up come out of it as a "great business".

          I guess as long as you didn't lose a bunch of money it would be more of a wash than a fail, but still not a success.
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          • #6
            My wife's from Ohio. Our rent was $1500 a month (but we lived right acoss the street from Moonstone Beach) and we were looking at 2 bedroom fixer-uppers in the woods for $375,000 Her brother bought a 4 bedroom house on 6 acres for $65,000 in Columbus. It was a pretty easy decision.
            www.kingsofthedrink.com







            Originally Posted by Prages


            I think everyone in the world has been lonely at some point in their life...and most of them could have probably written a more betterest song about it.









            Originally Posted by tiger roach


            Once my mom told me not to go outside because there was a bird fight going on. I thought, "Bird fight, WTF? She can't really think I would fall for that crap." So I went outside anyway and a bird pecked me on the head.









            Originally Posted by gennation


            Negatory, even dressed as a man I'm more of a man than you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not everyone can be successful.

              Next time go all in, get the best location, solidify your name so you can levy the cease and desist, look towards where you are and where you want to be, etc... Going into it because its a "cool idea" usually it doesn't end up come out of it as a "great business".

              I guess as long as you didn't lose a bunch of money it would be more of a wash than a fail, but still not a success.


              We started a Super Happy Funtime Mystery Musical theater group, but it only attracted ****************************s and miscreants as performers.
              www.kingsofthedrink.com







              Originally Posted by Prages


              I think everyone in the world has been lonely at some point in their life...and most of them could have probably written a more betterest song about it.









              Originally Posted by tiger roach


              Once my mom told me not to go outside because there was a bird fight going on. I thought, "Bird fight, WTF? She can't really think I would fall for that crap." So I went outside anyway and a bird pecked me on the head.









              Originally Posted by gennation


              Negatory, even dressed as a man I'm more of a man than you.

              Comment


              • #8
                My wife's from Ohio. Our rent was $1500 a month (but we lived right acoss the street from Moonstone Beach) and we were looking at 2 bedroom fixer-uppers in the woods for $375,000 Her brother bought a 4 bedroom house on 6 acres for $65,000 in Columbus. It was a pretty easy decision.


                Yeah.. I guess. I moved to a cheaper area myself, although it's still in Florida.
                http://www.reverbnation.com/thedubiouscapture

                Comment


                • #9
                  I remember hearing (reading) about your bookstore adventure a few years back. Tough to make a go of something like that, but it's cool that you went for it and managed to make it work for a while. And you got to live in Cambria, which is totally cool.
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                  • #10
                    25 years ago my parents got married and probably had the first thoughts about creating me

                    Your story is cool though, seems like good times though pretty hard work.
                    MOTGLHC






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                    • #11
                      Cambria is gorgeous--my wife and I honeymooned there--but I could see it being very, very hard to make a living there. The hard cap on the number of housing units makes it just brutally expensive, too.

                      I wouldn't mind living in SLO, though. God, the Central Coast is beautiful.
                      Giant KudzuFacebook • SoundCloud"I wear Abercrombie so bïtches know I dominate."

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                      • #12
                        Is there a town named Coheed nearby?

                        (cool story, btw. I love bookstores and like to stop in when I see a local one, if I have the time.)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I remember hearing (reading) about your bookstore adventure a few years back. Tough to make a go of something like that, but it's cool that you went for it and managed to make it work for a while. And you got to live in Cambria, which is totally cool.


                          We ended up selling it for a profit, so it wasn't a total loss. The two in Columbus did pretty well. But trying to get authors there was much harder, so we had less events. Plus, it was the advent of the big box bookstores (half price and B&N), and they were selling new releases for less than we could get them from our distributor. We had to focus on service.

                          I would do a thing where if you came in and told me the last two books you read, I would let you have a new book. The deal was, if you didn't like it, you just brought it back. If you did like it, you came back, bought that book and the next one in the series. We never lost a book that way and made quite a few sales and loyal customers. We also had writer's clubs two nights a week. let some kids do a D&D game every Friday night, and we rented board games. So say you came in and you'd never played Balderdash. You could rent it for three days for $5. When you returned it, you could either walk away or the $5 went towards buying the game.

                          It's still in business to the people we sold it to. They moved it into their house, which was smart.
                          www.kingsofthedrink.com







                          Originally Posted by Prages


                          I think everyone in the world has been lonely at some point in their life...and most of them could have probably written a more betterest song about it.









                          Originally Posted by tiger roach


                          Once my mom told me not to go outside because there was a bird fight going on. I thought, "Bird fight, WTF? She can't really think I would fall for that crap." So I went outside anyway and a bird pecked me on the head.









                          Originally Posted by gennation


                          Negatory, even dressed as a man I'm more of a man than you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            you lay down every time for your wife to do the chalk outline? Wouldn't it have been easier to create a stencil or something?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              you lay down every time for your wife to do the chalk outline? Wouldn't it have been easier to create a stencil or something?


                              We changed it up each time. Sometimes I'd trace her. After a while, locals would want to be traced and it kind of turned into a regular Friday night party for the merchants. We even had a few cops get traced.
                              www.kingsofthedrink.com







                              Originally Posted by Prages


                              I think everyone in the world has been lonely at some point in their life...and most of them could have probably written a more betterest song about it.









                              Originally Posted by tiger roach


                              Once my mom told me not to go outside because there was a bird fight going on. I thought, "Bird fight, WTF? She can't really think I would fall for that crap." So I went outside anyway and a bird pecked me on the head.









                              Originally Posted by gennation


                              Negatory, even dressed as a man I'm more of a man than you.

                              Comment



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