Microfiction – 025/365

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Bookstore Memories

“When did that great old Coca-Cola sign disappear?”

“You mean the one on the south side of the street?”

“Yeah, near the Supply Sergeant.”

“Man, I dunno. Years ago.”

“That’s a shame.”

“Tell me about it. You remember the old Pickwick Bookstore?”


“At Las Palmas.”


“There was a White Castle and The Gold Cup coffee shop on the south side of the intersection — all the queers hung out there. On the northwest corner was Swensen’s and across from that was Pickwick. Loved going to that place when I was a kid… bought my first books there: a boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia. Still have ’em, minus the box. I think I was ten years old.

“Didn’t B. Dalton own that place?”

“Later on they did, but before that it was an independent. Had a great history section up on the third floor, which was really just a converted attic. You had to get up there via this creaky narrow staircase and it was hot and smelled wonderfully of books of course and there was hardly room to breath much less move. I can’t remember how many Saturday afternoons I spent up there camped out in a little nook between shelves reading all the Civil War titles they had. Huge haunting books of Matthew Brady photography and pictorial histories of the Union and Confederacy. Couldn’t get enough.”

“Now it’s all gone.”

“Yeah, like C.C. Browns and the Longs Drugstore and the old Grauman’s courtyard box office and the Ho Jo’s at Vine and…”

“And the Coke sign.”

“And the Coke sign.”

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."