By Jim Simpson
Located just down the street from the DeKalb Farmer’s Market, this antique shop features vintage clothing, furniture, vinyl albums, books, objet d’art, musical instruments, old-timey soda pop, jewelry -- you name it, you can find it here. I tend to seek out the books, naturally. I’ve found partial collections of the Harvard Classics from the early 20th century, French biographies from the late 19th century, and this:
A shorthand dictionary published in 1919. I’d always been intrigued by shorthand ever since a good friend took a class years ago, but I’d never studied it. Could this little book help me learn now after all these years? My own handwriting is so terrible, it probably wouldn’t be worth it. As I flipped through the pages, an index card fluttered out: “Margie -- I found this little volume at the Book Sale in the park - thought it might be ‘interesting’ if not helpful. John.” Another story. Which park? What Book Sale? Why would Margie find this ‘interesting’? Did John have ulterior motives?
Also at Kudzu, I found a copy of The Herbert Huncke Reader.
Huncke was a writer and poet, and a member of the Beat Generation and is reputed to have coined the term. Fittingly, I found this business card tucked inside the book. It’s from Caffe Vivaldi in the Village in NYC. Looking at the place’s website, it appears to be as stylish as Huncke himself (he died in 1996), but not as gritty and working-class as many of the Beats.