A Second Life for Ken Burns at Costco

Serious Gitell.com readers might remember a post I did some months back on encountering film-maker Ken Burns at Costco. Somehow, of all items, this is having a second life.

Michael Rosenwald, a terrific Washington Post reporter, formerly of The Boston Globe, has picked up the post in a story about the pressure Costco is putting on Borders.

Here’s what Rosie writes about me: “Seth Gitell, a Boston journalist and political analyst, wrote on his blog last year that he had dropped by a local Costco “to purchase some delicious whitefish salad” but noticed a sign promoting, of all things, a book signing by Burns. Gitell ‘couldn’t believe that Burns would be making an appearance here of all places,’ he wrote. ‘But here he was. Burns sat dressed neatly in a blue blazer in front of a large display of Vizio 60-inch and 42-inch big-screen HDTVs as eager fans lined up to meet him.’ ”

By the way, I just bought more of that whitefish salad — again at my mother-in-law’s suggestion — last week.

Rosenwald also interviews the owner of the Politics & Prose bookstore, which I used to frequent with the Fabulous Dana when we both lived in D.C. — and before she was my wife. “Barbara Meade could not resist a little schadenfreude. After the Borders bookstore chain announced recently that it was exploring “strategic alternatives” — corporate lingo for ‘there’s trouble’ — the co-owner of the independent store Politics and Prose, which has held on against the chain’s cost-cutting competition, took note in her online newsletter.

‘We have never been tempted by the allure of corporate imperialism — invading new book markets, slashing prices, demolishing the competition, and then back to business as usual, poor inventory and poor customer service,’ Meade wrote, reporting that ‘Borders announced a shift in direction from selling books to selling the whole business.’ ”

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