After I sent the email, I bumped into him in the gym. And he was just super-excited about the prospect of doing squats and deadlifts with me, talking about how he loves training that way and how people get the best results that way. I think I made his day.
Interesting that he thinks it's the best way to train, but that he apparently doesn't train most of his clients that way by default. I kind of got the impression from talking to him that he thinks that most non-athletes just aren't interested in serious lifting. Maybe he's right. Anyway, I'm glad I expressed my interest more clearly. (When we initially talked, I said something like, "I want to work on building strength," which apparently has more room for interpretation than I thought.)
*I picked up the habit somewhere of referring to the 45-lb. olympic bar as the "big-girl bar". Which never fails to bring a smile to my face when I see some big dude loading it up for a set of squats.