Saturday, September 03, 2011

Sad Groceries

BOY WITH LOADED GUN (what a title!), the autobiography of Lewis Nordan, is shamefully out of print, just like his great MUSIC OF THE SWAMP. But I was over at Square Books yesterday and saw Richard standing comically on a piece of furniture in his office to reach a high shelf. I asked what he was doing. He told me he was pricing some rare editions of Faulkner. It turns out there is a secret stash of certain old books for sale. Want an old book? Now you know where to go. And tell 'em "Bloggy" the "Blog" Mascot sent you! I idly asked Richard whether he had a copy of BOY WITH LOADED GUN lying around and he plucked a first edition off the shelf like magic. Here is Nordan on the sad "grocery store" where his stepfather went every evening to drink with his friends, "standing on the rough unpainted boards of the store among the meager groceries": "Mr. Shiloh had a meat case that housed only a long string of fierce-colored hot dogs that never changed position in the case." A string of fierce-colored hot dogs is one more reason to love Lewis Nordan. As a boy, he worships Superman: "I went to sleep there in my bed in the sunny morning, wearing my red cape and surrounded by comic books, dreaming about Superman's loving parents on Krypton, and in this way dreamed the death of the father I had never known, the explosion in his heart that had killed him." He gets so excited when his stepfather ("new father," who later becomes "father") buys the family's first TV that he tries to fly, and cracks his head on the concrete. (Image via the Silver Age Comics "blog.")