Friday, December 09, 2005

Memorial for Debi Echlin, Book Lover Extraordinaire

There’s going to be a huge party on LaSalle Avenue in Oakland on Sunday, but it will be bittersweet.

There will be a band. Food. Christmas lights. Lots of friends.

The event is a memorial for Debi Echlin, the owner of A Great Good Place For Books. Debi passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving at the age of 52.

Debi was such an exuberant soul and created such a vibrant community at her small independent bookstore that her death shocked hundreds. The staff at the store decided the best way to commemorate Debi was to celebrate, rather than mourn.

This is the invitation they sent out:

“Throughout her life Debi was many things--a fabulous friend, a loving little sister, a fantastic bookseller, and a brilliant business woman--but anyone who knew her well , knew Debi LOVED to have fun!

Whether she was falling off a cliff in Costa Rica, scuba diving in Florida, selling her favorite book to a cherished customer or conducting a high powered business meeting, Debi adored being in the spotlight.

GGP, her friends, and the Montclair Village Association invite you to come celebrate the life of Debi Echlin on Sunday, December 11th!

Kathi Kamen Goldmark and friends will be performing, the MVA will be closing LaSalle Avenue at 2:00 pm, and then let's do Debi proud! "

I’ve always loved books and bookstores, but I never developed a relationship with a store like I did with a Great Good Place for Books. It felt like a home, a place I could go to rant about politics, praise or diss a recent read, and find fabulous tomes that I couldn’t wait to take home and delve into. I brought my daughters there regularly and encouraged them to spend money – there was no better way, I thought, to ensure their futures.

It was Debi, and her former partner Helen, who created this community gem. On Sunday, I plan to celebrate their creation with everyone else who valued it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Debi was a beautiful woman. She was intelligent, funny, and an inspiration to all who knew her. I wish I had known her better. We didn't share the same beliefs in a lot of subjects but she never judged me. I love her and miss her. I am proud that she was my aunt.