by Shirley Bahlmann
The young women flitting about my book booth had charming accents, Bosnian, they told me. There were three of them, bright eyed, eager, chattering over the books on display in lilting languages. "I speak more than one language," a dark-haired beauty told me. "Once you know two, you can easily learn more."
I would have to take her word for it.
Standing among the bright and fluttery girls was a tall pillar of a man, his face made small between a head of long hair and full dark beard that reached the middle of his chest. I kid you not, he looked like Hagrid's (the giant from "Harry Potter") little brother, "little" being a relative term. My visitor was several inches over six feet tall.
When the Bosnian girls bounced away to another booth, Hagrid Junior remained behind. Since he hadn't spoken a word, I didn't know if he was Bosnian, too. So I said, "Hello."
"Hello," he replied, his deep American voice shaking the floor.
I never asked his connection with the girls, and I don't remember how we got on the subject of idols, but even after I expressed my opinion that famous people are just regular folks with recognized faces, he admitted to idolizing John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Joseph Smith. (That comment gave me pause. Was Joseph Smith musically inclined?)
I was fascinated when Mini-Hagrid told me he traveled all over the world. "What do you do?" I asked, my ears open and eager for the secrets of world travel.
"Guitar. I just open my case and play."
"And you make enough money to travel?"
Shrimpy-Hagrid's eyes crinkled for the first time during our entire conversation. He tipped his head toward me as if sharing a confidence. "Oh, yeah," he said with a reassuring nod.
After Hagrid-Half-Pint left, I found myself daydreaming of International travel. Hey, I've got an old saxophone in my basement, complete with case. All I have to do is put heavy duty magnets in the bottom, and visit countries with magnetic money...