Inverness resident Andrew M. Schultz died on Monday, June 18, at the age of 58 from complications related to small-cell lung cancer.

His death will inevitably be described by those who knew him as “The Death of a Salesman,” and Andrew would be the first to agree, as evidenced by his personalized license plates, “AD SPACE.”

100_3194_1.jpgAndrew’s specialty was selling newspaper classified advertising to automobile dealerships, which he did almost continually for more than 30 years.

Born in Manhattan, New York, on July 27, 1948, to Fran and Leon Schultz, he attended public schools in the Bronx, Plainview, and Long Island, as well as Hofstra University on Long Island for two years.

For two years he studied to become a chef only to switch courses and attend two more years of classes at the New York Institute of Photography.

Andrew moved to California in 1971. “I had been wanting to get out of New York. I felt trapped,” he explained in an interview last winter. “I felt nothing was happening for me there.”

He arrived in Marin hoping to work as a photographer. Given his choice, he said during the interview, “I would have been a magazine photographer doing cover shots for magazines such as Glamour, Time, and US News and World Report — mainstream magazines.”

Many may have sent or received the composite postcard from Inverness with photos of downtown, a friendly pelican and the famous beached boatwreck. All those photos were taken by Andrew Schultz.

Another of Andrew’s favorite photo assignments has been the annual Disaster Council pancake breakfast at the Point Reyes Station firehouse. Andrew said he enjoyed capturing on film the pillars of the community stuffing their faces with pancakes.

“In 1972,” he recounted, “I went to work for The Funfinder as a photographer but quickly became a salesman. In those days, The Funfinder was an entertainment periodical the size of TV Guide, boasting a circulation of 20,000 in San Francisco and Marin counties.

When The Marin Independent Journal bought The Funfinder in 1975, Andrew went to work for The Independent Journal. “The most fun I’ve ever had was selling automotive classified when I moved from The Funfinder to The IJ,” he recalled. “It was one of the most interesting changes I made in my work life. It clicked, and I just loved it.

“With the majority of the people that I meet, I discovered that there are three stages. First, they don’t like me at all. Then it’s, ‘Let’s give this guy some time.’ Then, I really win them over. You always know when you’ve broken through to the customer.”

Andrew said he genuinely liked his customers. “About six times… dealers offered me jobs, but I didn’t want to sell cars. Whenever a dealership offered me a job selling their product, I knew I had them right where I wanted them… that they trusted me and we had built a strong professional relationship. Contrary to what most people think, business relationships are really personal relationships.”

Andrew worked at The Independent Journal until 1987, when he moved to Monterey County and began selling automotive classified adds for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “Nine months after I got there, I won salesman of the year,” he recalled with pride. I left Santa Cruz a month before the Loma Prieta earthquake. I had been living in Soquel, two to three miles away from the epicenter in Aptos.”

After moving back to Marin County, Andrew sold advertising at The Point Reyes Light for a year, at the Petaluma office of a free “pennysaver” owned by newspaper chain publisher Dean Lesher, at The Petaluma Argus Courier, The Cotati Times, The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, and Auto Trader in Petaluma.

Indeed, Andrew sold advertising space wherever he could find it, whether it was on cash register tapes or the community-access channel of Horizon Cable. In 1999 after public-utility deregulation, he even tried to sell electricity and was hopeful of signing up most of California’s schools. However, the company he was working for collapsed.

Many West Marin residents knew Andrew as an advertising salesman and operator of Horizon Cable’s community channel, Channel 47. As such, Andrew donated a good portion of his time to helping the local nonprofits with their fundraising.

West Marin had enjoyed good television reception until 1973 when Bay Area channels stopped transmitting from Mount San Bruno and began using the newly constructed Sutro Tower. TV signals to this stretch of coast were then blocked by Mount Tamalpais. Among those unhappy with the resulting poor reception was Andrew. The poor reception also prompted John Robbins, formerly of Inverness, to build the West Marin Cable system, starting in 1983; he sold it to Horizon Cable in 1991.

Robbins, who had employed Andrew part time, recalled in an interview last January, “The first time I met him, I was at the White House Pool building the cable system. He stops his car right on the corner of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Balboa Avenue and wants to know when he’ll get hooked up.”

When Robbins was building the Stinson Beach part of the cable system, he hired Andrew to line up customers. “I let him go there and knock on doors.”

Even after the cable system was built and sold to Horizon, Andrew continued in his spare time to sell advertising for its community-access channel, which was then Channel 11 and 13 and is now Channel 47. Only recently did he finally relinquish that responsibility to Horizon owner Susan Daniels.

“He’s a wonderful, pushy, in-your-face salesman, and he aims to leave you feeling good about the conversation,” Robbins said. “You always knew when Andrew was coming. His voice was a big as he was [6-foot, 3-inches and more than 250 pounds].”

“Sometimes I’m insensitive in realizing that I’m a very big guy,” Andrew acknowledged. “I’ve been told at times I’m disruptive… I’m definitely noticed. I’m good at parties, but I don’t care to go to them very often. I come home at night and the mask comes off.”

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©Art Rogers/Point Reyes

Rather than socializing, “Andrew’s life revolved around his computer and movies,” Robbins noted. “At times, I am nearly a hermit,” Andrew confirmed.

“Yet I feel as if I have lots of good friends. I have loved many in my life. I have a hard time understanding jealous people. They don’t seem to realize that you can’t take love from others. Love is only given.”

Surviving Andrew are his brothers Billy, Nathan, and Barry Schultz. His father Leon Schultz died in 1990 and his mother Fran in 2000.

Andrew is also survived by his former partner, Daniel Medina. Andrew also leaves a long list of people he has loved and who have loved him, commenting several weeks ago, “They will all know who they are…”

At his request, Andrew will be cremated. Adobe Creek Funeral Home in Petaluma is handling arrangements. A memorial service will be held on Limantour Beach at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 23. Before he died, Andrew asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Hospice by the Bay and West Marin Senior Services — “please.”

Editor’s note: At Andrew Schultz’s request, several of us combined efforts to write this piece before he died.