Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic


The glamorous Ski Convention in Vegas was coming up. I had hooked up with a colleague who was going as a buyer, and we left San Francisco together in my little Pinto wagon full of stuff. I wasn’t on the invitation list from our store, so my plan was to crash it, try for another job in the industry and see some of the runway shows. Truth be told, I had just been terminated by Kenji who had been left in charge. He was a slight Japanese man I had shamed abominably earlier that winter.

I think it amuse the owner (a much more formidable Japanese gentleman with a wicked sense of humor) that I’d popped up at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Of course he had heard Kenji’s side, and he still got me a badge and a pass to the HCC runway show of Swiss designer ski wear at Caesar’s Palace. It really was quite gracious of him. Then Kenji walked up with a smile, saw me and got all emotional all over again. It wasn’t joy. — From Chapter 4

The timeline of this companion to my memoir might be getting a little confusing. I packed up everything that fit into my Pinto and moved to new cities seven times in five years between 1975 and 1980… then five more times until I finally found a town to love in 1987. I did drive across the great Mojave desert a lot. It was often hot. A distant mirage of heat waves wobbled the road, and shed skins of truck tires formed minimalist sculptures at the end of long skid marks every mile or so. The word ‘godforsaken’ comes to mind, and a stop in Baker added an explanation mark.

A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at

Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.

Mernie paints and writes in Woodstock NY. A signed copy of her memoir The Incompetent Psychic available via