On the 5th of July, let us celebrate someone who is still what that American Dream is all about. Hard-working, a pillar of his community, contributing to the life and culture of his town, Joe Ferrara has run Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz, California since 1976.
The San Francisco Chronicle spotlighted Joe this week, in text and in this disarmingly charming video that should be making its way around the web today. It captures a little of what makes Joe such a great guy, and why his store is one of those comics shops everybody should check out -- it's a clean, well-lighted place for everyone.
I've known Joe for a few years, talking at conventions and visiting his store (I'm overdue to go back there), and yes, he's absolutely as kind as the video makes him seem. I knew he was a great guy -- this is the first time I've actually gotten to hear him sing. I think I may have to go to the Giants game on August 3, just to hear Joe do the National Anthem.