So not knowing what to expect we opened our store on Abbot Kinney in uncertain times and waited to see the response. I more or less fell into running the store as it was considered that marianne was indispensable as a designer but I...was...well it was my idea so I could "run" the place. I knew from a previous experience that working in a retail location at times could be a bit slow and I wasn't given to staying in one place too long so I decided to augment my time by enrolling in an MA-PHD psychology program at Pacifica Institute. This fit well with me as I had come into contact with fairly interesting if not confusing situations in Cambodia that really puzzled me. In fact it occurred to me that often times in Cambodia I was psychologically out of my depth. The fact was that Marianne and I were dealing with ptsd and various forms of trauma resultant from genocidal activities of the Khmer civil war and we weren't consciously aware of the implications.The study provided an opening to consider these experiences.
So a rhythm was established at the store. I would bring my psych books and read until a customer came in and then I would attend to them. This store opening corresponded with a re-birth on Abbot Kinney and Venice in general. It was fabulous. Any number of interesting people would just drop in and we would stand around talking or perhaps they would pull up a chair for a while and maybe walk out with a skirt or whatever. I really enjoyed this time. We started with very few contacts in Venice and soon people were bringing friends in or telling them to come by and for a brief time Koko Venice functioned as kind of a Venice community meeting place. Neighbors discovered my interest in Psychology and referred friends who were therapists to me and we had wonderful discussions. Such a gift. Some days I would sell nothing but come home ecstatic from the interesting people who wandered in to the store. Artists, writers, film people, producers visitors and gawkers. I got to tell stories. What a pleasure.