On a Sunday afternoon, back in 1994, when I was a newbie Realtor I sat at an open house as a courtesy to a co-worker. It was a very interesting home in Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley is to Phoenix what Beverly Hills is to Los Angeles.
I had very little traffic and was ready to pack my things and lock up when a small group of people walked in. We chatted, the older couple was helping the son shopping for his first home. I didn’t catch their last name, but started to go through my memorized presentation of the property. They liked the general location, however this was their first open house, and they weren’t ready to make any decision. I showed them around, the last room was the owner’s study/library.
While they commented on the spaciousness of the room, the son pointed to something on one of the shelves. His dad’s face lit up. He walked over, smiling. He grabbed some books, pulled a pen from his coat pocket, opened the first hardcover and started to write. I was shocked. I tried to catch his hand to stop him when the son whispered, “it’s okay, he’s the author, and he is signing the books.”
Delighted about having a best selling author at my open house, I left the four autographed books on the owner’s desk.
On Monday morning at the office the listing agent walked over to my desk, but instead of thanking me she said, “My client is on the phone and he isn’t very happy, he said he didn’t mind you reading his books but you should have put them back where you got them from.” She looked at me, phone by her ear.
I smiled, feeling a bit smug. “Ask your client to open the front cover of the books and he can thank me later.” Then I went back to my paperwork pretending I didn’t know she was still there. It didn’t take long before I heard, “Oh, really? That’s incredible. He must have been there for the open house. I agree, such a wonderful gesture. Yes, I will tell her, absolutely.”
She didn’t tell me, she slapped my head lightly, “You little weasel, you could have told me.”
“And miss seeing your face when you found out that Clive Cussler came to my open house and autographed your client’s books?”
And that my friends is how I met legendary author and gentleman extraordinaire Clive Cussler.
Why write about it after all this time? Because this year is the 40th anniversary of the publication of his first novel, Mediterranean Caper. The well know first book of the Dirk Pitt® Series. And yes, the son looking for his first house was Dirk Cussler.