On Friday, I interviewed Peter Ogura, who has owned Black Sun Books on Hilyard Street for almost 19 years. I previously interviewed Peter’s wife, Michele Miller, for a group J361 assignment about residents’ opinions of the Amazon neighborhood. Miller told our group about how she works part-time at the store, filling in for Ogura.
I found Peter in the shop last Thursday, told him about how I wanted to profile him and Black Sun Books, and he told me to come back on Friday around 1 p.m. because business slows down in the mid-afternoon. When I returned on Friday, I found Peter busily sorting and shelving a multitude of books.
We sat down amid the towering shelves of books packed into the 900 square foot store and chatted about how he started Black Sun Books, and what it is like to own a small business in Eugene. Ogura lived in San Francisco for 12 years before leaving for Eugene because the city became too “claustrophobic” for him. He attended the University of San Francisco School of Law, but decided against being a lawyer because the “adversarial” occupation presented a “skewed view of the world”.
Ogura also told me about his typical day, what kinds of books Black Sun sells, and how he feels the Amazon neighborhood has largely stayed the same throughout his almost 19 years of owning a business in it.
I am going to return to Black Sun Books on Tuesday to talk to Ogura one more time, ask any follow-up questions I may have, and take photos.