On October 1, 1969, in a small shopfront on Cooper Street, Logos opened its doors.
If you search for “this day in history” not a whole lot happened; I mean, the opening of Logos was pretty much it! Santa Cruz was sleepy–especially downtown–more a retirement haven than whatever you might call it today. And it is fairly certain that no one at that time anticipated Logos being around long enough to start contemplating mid-life crises, or empty nest syndromes.
We have endured: earthquakes, floods, bad economies, rude clerks, nasty customers, amazon, bookstore-pretenders, street closures, thefts, embezzlers, music downloads, burning porta-potties (ok, that’s another story), the brussel sprouts processing plant, irreplaceable employees leaving, replaceable employees staying, kindles, the deprecation of intellectualism, disastrous economies, the devaluing of Pacific Avenue, inappropriate drumming, tweakers, stoners, drunks, and any number of people who got up on the wrong side of the bed and said to themselves: “I think I’ll go mess with the people at Logos today.”
We have also been (and continue to be) the beneficiaries of extreme customer loyalty, spectacular book and music collections, an unparalleled staff, a generous boss, ongoing enthusiasm for our own work, and a non-corporate workplace that–despite its kinks–proves that this is possible over a very long term.
One third of the staff has worked here more than 15 years; it is more than a job to most of us, a place where we can actually be excited, daily, by the items that pass over the buy desk; a place where friendships are made on both sides of the counter; a place where good food is shared (constantly) and the customer is just as likely to interrupt a conversation about remote viewing, bunnies, or the quality of Trader Joe’s Cabernets as they are to hear a recommendation on the latest fermentation cookbook, or a review of the upcoming Dylan Christmas album.
We are, despite some claims to the contrary, not a particularly rude bunch, although we all have our moments (OK, some more than others). We are a literate group, and taken as a whole have pretty broad interests and experiences. We try to be patient but tend to take insults personally (please don’t expect our attention if you are talking on a cellphone and trying to arrange a buy at the same time.) Some interactions completely throw us (“Do you have the Little Prince by Machiavelli?”). We want to help you, we really do.
We have stood in and been a part of this community for 40 years and hope that we can do it for a long time to come. Selling books and music is not what it was 40 years ago, but we are profoundly lucky in that we are still surrounded by quality: books, music, dvds, our staff, our boss, AND our customers…Thank you all for your support and patronage, and we look forward to seeing you in Year 41.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel recently wrote an article about Logos, you can read it on their website or by downloading a pdf of there article here.