If the Bay Area literary scene produced an “Early 2000s Commemorative Bobblehead,” it would be in the shape of Dave Eggers, complete with eye patch, peg leg, baseball hat, and devilish grin. Love him or hate him, the man already has a sizable legacy of well-crafted writing and community outreach.

Berkeley philanthropes and McSweeney’s diehards alike flooded Berkeley Rep this week to watch Eggers converse with SF Chronicle’s Jon Carroll in a benefit for Park Day School in Oakland. Akin to most Bay Area literary charity functions, the talk comprised both humanizing personal stories and shameless plugs for Mission District non-profits fronting overpriced pirate regalia to make rent.

Eggers initially opened the Pirate Store to satisfy Mission zoning regulations and fund his volunteer-run tutoring center, 826 Valencia. Its success spawned other zanily themed 826 storefronts across the nation. 826 Brooklyn caters to Superheros. The aspiring spies of 826 Chicago get their gadgets at The Boring Store (so as not to blow their cover). 826 Los Angeles specializes in time travel (“Whenever you are, we’re already then”). And the folks at 826 Boston, bless their hearts, have converted the space into a Bigfoot Research Institute.

Yeah, that’s right. Loch Ness (Da ‘Nessy) exists, yo.

Image Source: Steve Rhodes under Creative Commons
Berkeley Rep Hosts Dave Eggers in literary conversation [Mercury News]

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