Tuesday, August 3, 2010

7.19.2010: Marin Country, Cameron Maddux (1994)

When dad talks about the planning of this trip, he’ll sometimes mention that he originally meant to bike across the country so that he could get into shape while seeing people. Now all we do is eat, drink, and sit in a car. That said, I like doing all three. We drove out to Marin County from San Francisco, over the misty and magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Their apartment looks over an aviary and sits at the beginning of the Tiburon Peninsula. We were fed a delicate lunch of olives, mango salad, three cheeses, avocado, and cherries. Cameron and Mary had met while working at the same advertising agency in Chicago. One weekend, Cameron, Mary, and her son Sam, went on a weekend trip, and without really deciding to, eloped.

We started off on a walk along the peninsula and ended up on a six-mile trek to the end and back, stopping at a park only to hear a band play, oddly, Iko Iko, then again at a restaurant on the point to fortify ourselves for the walk back. Cameron is now running (I think) the marketing department at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco. He’s teaching art students how to be a little more business savvy and showing them that they have opportunities to use the skills they have commercially. Cameron’s worked in advertising and marketing since he graduated from college, and really introduced us to the school of marketing thought that firms need to either figure out for themselves or hire someone to really delve into the psyche of the consumer. Often, those with degrees in sociology or anthropology, or those with world experience, are hired by firms—there’s a real academia in this field. These days, he told us, companies are trying to find new ways to have a relationship with the public. Rather than interrupting us doing things that we really want to be doing, companies are trying to find ways to draw the customer without being a bother. For instance, Levi has opened a workshop in San Francisco in which anyone can enter and learn printmaking. They’re opening another workshop in New Orleans that’ll focus on teaching some aspect of music. These workshops have nothing to do with selling their clothes. Listening to Cameron talk was fascinating. But even nicer was seeing such a tight-knit family interact together.

On our way back to the house we ran across about a mile of blackberry brambles and were able to pick a delicious dessert.

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