Najah Masudi once asked me if there were any love stories about Classics Books. There are. Little did she know one of them was about her own daughter!
Dan Robinson and his wife Sarah Ohls play Scrabble at Classics Books. Sarah taught Dan how to play Scrabble years ago, and since then he has become the most feared player at the club on Friday nights. They are often each other’s most dangerous competition: Dan has won the Annual Classics Scrabble Invitational Tournament three times; Sarah has won twice and earned a commendation from Trenton City Council for her skill. But despite this bare-knuckled rivalry, their love is strong. They have two young children and they are still married.
Kimberly Brennan uses Scrabble at Classics as a love barometer. One cannot put on airs while they are being beaten by a 12 year old. So, she brings dates to the bookstore to test their mettle. It’s like placing a new ingredient into a stew pot and seeing what flavors come out. She’s brought four dates so far and is curious to see if the fifth one is the charm.
Kallah Masudi once had this boyfriend, brought him to a bookstore, and found that he didn’t like to read. She filed him under “C” for “CU later!”
Here’s a short story about love and Scrabble by Ganga Moongilan. The year was 1978, the year of the horse, and also the year in which all of the stars in all the galaxies aligned perfectly and two babies were born. One of the babies was born in India and the other in Poland, two lovely bundles of joy and poop for their lucky parents to feed and feed some more. As the two grew up in their respective lands and cultures, playing and frolicking about, little did they know that their parents had bigger ideas for the respective families’ futures. Thus, sometime in the late 1980s, when clothing styles were rather questionable as most of us can see by looking at our family albums, just as the two children were ready to take their frolicking up a notch, they were unceremoniously whisked away on big planes and transported to America, the land of promise and immigration. One ended up in Chicago, the other in New Jersey, which raised their chances of meeting to about one in one million. Eventually the Indian child moved to New Jersey as well because apparently New Jersey was the place to be at that point and time in history. The two blossomed awesomely, approximately 45 minutes from each other, one into an Americanized Indian woman, the other into an Americanized Polish man. They went to school, worked at jobs, and did many things their parents would greatly disapprove of if they ever found out. They even hung out in the same neighborhood without ever meeting. Eventually though, all of those same stars in those same galaxies that aligned perfectly in 1978, aligned again in 2010, and the two met for the first time, a meeting that mathematically should not have had the slightest chance of ever occurring. Yet it did happen, and eventually led to a pretty exciting romantic connection that led the two of them to stumble into Classics Bookstore on a random Friday night. They literarily stumbled too because earlier in the evening the two of them enjoyed a responsible amount of adult beverages. They sat down to a game of scrabble, and the rest is history. The End.
Of course things didn’t really end with the initial scrabble game. Afterwards they visited the bookstore a bunch more times, sometimes to play more scrabble, sometimes to buy some books, and sometimes to just say hello. It’s a nice place, you know. And the two still work jobs, and read books, and do things their parents would greatly disapprove of if they ever found out.