It was my last handshake.”

Danny Caine, proprietor of The Raven Book Store, writes about an event the store held, just as the world was shutting down, with author Louise Erdrich.

He finishes:

As we walked over to the fire, the caretaker stood, unfolding his lanky frame. He nodded at us. Louise crouched and pulled some sage out of her bag. She crumbled off a few leaves and tossed them into the fire. They missed, landing on a cool spot away from the flame. She reached her hand right in there and grabbed the sage, placing it directly on top of the embers. She didn’t flinch.

Standing, she said, “thank you for tending this fire. What’s your name?”

Junior,” the caretaker said. “Yours?”

I’m Louise, and this is Danny.”

Junior reached across the fire to shake our hands. It was my last handshake.

The entire story is spread over two issues of Quoth The Raven, the store’s excellent email newsletter

If you’re at all interesting books, authors, reading, words, small towns or Kansas, you really should subscribe.

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