Mel and Patricia Ziegler did a Wild Company book signing at Book Passage in San Francisco’s Ferry Building last night and I was in attendance in full BR regalia along with my very supportive wife Julie who insisted I say hello before their talk. I must admit I was a little nervous to introduce myself. You never know what it will be like when you get the chance to meet your heroes.
In this case it was more than I could have hoped for. They could not have been more kind and gracious. They are great fans and supporters of Abandoned Republic, so much so that they asked me to say a few words about the blog during their talk. I’m glad I was able to let them know how their work influenced and inspired me and what a treat it has been to really dig through the material and share it with so many BR fans.
The event was an amazing Banana Republic reunion with many former staffers in attendance (whom I hope to contact for some good stories!). The Zieglers read from the book, pausing now and then to elaborate on a story. In just that short reading I heard several stories I had never heard before and I know the book will be amazing. In the question and answer portion I asked how it felt to finally tell their side of the story of the split with Gap. I wish I had taken actual notes. The short answer was it felt very good. Mel mentioned that Don Fisher of the Gap had written a very complimentary chapter on them in his memoir but that he didn’t want that to be the final word on what happened. The last chapter is fittingly titled “Coup”.
Afterward I asked them to sign my Summer 1984 Catalog Poster (Patricia’s portrait of them in Africa) in addition to a copy of the book. Mel’s inscription reads “Thanks for keeping the flame, you should have been there, you are one of us!” All in all in was a perfect event I will always remember.
Books Passage will have signed copies for sale, if you haven’t gotten yours yet why not give them your business. I’ll post later after I have read the book…