And as there was very little business, he sat in his van and waited for curious folks to come along and buy his baby trees.
The first day I saw him, I drove past, but took note. And the second day, I became one of those curious folks. Maybe the only one during the four days he was parked there.
I immediately found when I walked up to his display that bonsai trees are...expensive. He had several small three-year-old trees about the size of my fist for about $25 each, and the older and bigger they were, naturally the more expensive they were. Ten-year-old trees were between $70 and $80, and he had a few 25-year-old trees for about $250. All were untrimmed, unshaped...ready to be artistically developed.
I had my eye on a three-year-old tree, nothing older. With my barely green thumb, I wasn't going to chance an $80 purchase. I pictured the "Karate Kid" scene where Mr. Miagi is teaching Daniel how to trim and shape the trees (and how to pronounce the name: bone-sai, not bahhn-sai).
I walked away that day without a tree, pondering my possible purchase. For two days after, I'd announce to Jessica when I got home, "The bonsai tree dude is still there." And then...he wasn't.
I still want a bone-sai tree, though, someday.
And a tiny pair of scissors with which to trim it.
"The Japanese think of bonsai as representing
or evoking a larger tree."