Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic

You Are Here 2015

So here I was a seagull squawk away from where Jack London got boozy and wrote ‘Tales of the Fish Patrol’ a century earlier. I initially tried an entrepreneurial venture involving potpourri. A good-looking friend had the skills and charm to get people to buy stuff. He also had a connection for dried plant products with an importer. I had a commercial space and graphic design skills. We quickly hatched a plan where I would create a pretty package, we would both stuff the cello bags and he’d sell ’em. This is before I learned that any product idea takes a year of concentrated effort and $10,000 — just to get it ready for the marketplace and investors. We surprisingly got off to a pretty good start when he landed an account at Nordstrom, but it was his other connection with an importer of South American plant products that became problematic. Turns out my biz partner was crackhead, so our scheme went up in white smoke in a quick six months. — From Chapter 8

The painting pictured above isn’t an abstract. It’s a fairly exact topographic map looking down on Benicia, California, the Carquinez Strait and the Contra Costa shoreline. It’s the seagull’s-eye view of the town I will always love.

The red line is Benicia’s section of the Bay Trail — a 500 mile walking & cycling path that circles San Francisco Bay. The green blotches are public parks and the dark blue swath indicates the deep water channel. The ‘You Are Here’ red dot is Benicia’s Public Library. This gorgeous library boasts a large, skylit gallery where this was the title painting in an art exhibit of scenes along the Bay Trail, including the doggies and people who enjoy it. Our ‘Let’s Go for a Walk’ show opened in February of 2016 with over eighty happy paintings by me and Nancy Freeman. I donated this painting to the Arts Benicia Art Auction & Gala fundraiser the following fall. Unfortunately, I never found out who made the winning bid.

A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at www.etsy.com/listing/839838936

Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.