My current favorite inscription in a book at Classics Books & Gifts.
Scrawled inside If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,
“Mama mama sick in bed. She really a sleepy mad mad. PS I love mom, love Katie.”
If you have driven through Trenton and seen a mind-blowing portrait painted on a wall, you have already met Will Kasso. Painter, portraitist, graffiti artist, Kasso is a national presence in our small town. Curator at Gallery 219 on Hannover Street and founder of the Sage Coalition (which supports public art festivals and street beautification projects).
When you catch him at Classics, he is usually hunting for books with his daughter in the kids section
“My daughter curated her first artshow opening at the “Kids Bridge Arts Camp”…she just texted me saying: “Dad, the artshow is tonight…wear something nice without paint all over it”…lol”
Roger is a retired art teacher, a habitual doodler and a transplanted Californian. Good natured and easy going, Roger always lends the room an atmosphere of fun.
When you catch him at Classics, he will be hunched over a Scrabble board on Friday nights.
“Jefferson made the New Testament readable by cutting out all the nonsense, making it readable and worth reading.”
Pulitzer Prize winning Trentonian Poet Yusef Komunyakaa published Testimony, a collection poetry inspired by Charlie Parker
Trenton Poet Laureate Doc Long had reminiscences published in Volunteers in the African Bush, a collection of essays about the early years of the Peace Corp in Africa
Capital City Open Mic celebrated its one year anniversary in April
The New Jim Crow Committee of Trenton met and discussed Michelle Alexander’s book and mapped out ways to put responses to the book in action.
The Trenton Books at Home Program handed out thousands of books for Trenton kids.
Trenton author and radio host Yolanda Landy Robinson published Don’t Be Bitter Be Better, a book of inspirations.
Trenton author Natasha Buckalious Parker published her poetella, Ah Hood Romance
Trenton author Will Foskey published Poeticine
In November, Trenton author Marie Murf Antionette, author of The Struggle and A Girl Named Job, was bookseller for a day at Classics.
In February, Barbara Keogh became the reigning Classics Scrabble champion.
This is a book-shop
Cross-roads of civilization
Refuge of all the arts against the ravages of time
Armory of fearless truth and unrelenting beauty against the craven forces of ignorance and pettiness and ugliness of the soul.
From this place words become real
not insubstantial digital ephemera but solid crafted artifacts
not drowned in the constant torrent of status updates and tweets, but fixed in time.
In this place you are a community made manifest–a community of friends, thinkers, lovers, citizens and appreciators of beauty.
Friend, you stand on sacred ground.
This is a book-shop.
Which are you?
New Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra
Did you think that the Trenton Symphony had left the capital city? Not quite accurate. The New Jersey Capital Philharmonic will be performing its first concert at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial December 31st. To learn more about the New Jersey Capital Philharmonic Orchestra, please visit the web site at www.capitalphilharmonic.org
Humans of Trenton
Based on the fantastic Humans of New York, the Humans of Trenton is a living encyclopedia of the amazing people of the Capital City. Read about them here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/HumansOfTrenton
Thomasena’s at 241 E. Front St, near the DMV and City Hall. Soul southern food. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/ThomasenasTakeout
The City of Trenton fixed the sidewalks on Lafayette in front of Classics. Come on by with your scooter for a smooth ride!
Artist and Classics co-op member Barbara Keogh covers the store Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12 noon to 2 pm. Here is her list of books and DVD’s she would like to read and watch.
1. 32 Candles by Ernessa Carter
2. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
3. At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch
4. An Easy Burden by Andrew Young
5. White Collar Factory by Jack Washington
6, 7 and 8. Be Cool, Maximum Bob and Pagan Babies by the recently deceased Elmore Leonard
9 Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman
10. Devil’s Corner by Lisa Scottoline
11. Barchester Towers and The Warden by Anthony Trollope
12. Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot
13. Marguerite de Valois by Alexander Dumas
14/15 Complete Works of O’Henry in 2 volumes
16. DVD: The Devil Wears Prada
17. DVD: Walk Hard
18. DVD: Nothing But The Truth
19. DVD: Bulgarian Lovers
20. DVD: Last King of Scotland
I enjoy finding interesting things tucked into books that come into Classics. I’ve found money, four-leaf clovers and personal checks written by witches.
My favorite, though, was found in a book of poetry in written by Richard Nixon (not THAT Richard Nixon, the other one). There was a bunch of ephemera in it and as I went through it a story of lost love emerged.
First, I find, tucked between pages 22 and 23, a postcard that had written on it
“My Christmas thought/ Could not be bought. /I searched the city through. A sorry guest, / For the very best / Were none to good for you. Richard. Paris 1932.”
Second, later in the book, I find a typewritten letter, written from Paris on New Year’s Day addressed
“You complain that I never open my heart. Let us take the fanciful case of a man who after many years finds his soul face to face with a woman he once loved,–a woman presumably in love with a perfectly good husband to whom she reads her letters. Such a man might well hesitate to unlock his heart, tho he might paraphrased Browning a little and say, Open my heart and you will see / Graven upon it only Thee. So it ever was, so shall it ever be.
“No, I didn’t stay on in Jersey beyond the merrie month of May, having finally been driven out of that terrestrial paradise by the Demon of Loneliness.
“I was cheered by your news that this has been a successful year for Melvin and I hope that good humor in which you are ending it will extend far enough into the new one to stimulate you to write me again and soon. Stella Farwell write me from New Orleans that you had been there twice since last spring, looking younger and handsomer than ever. No wonder you are in such good humor, with a good husband who has had a successful year and with Time treating you like a spoiled child.”
Later in the book, there is a Christmas card from Richard “with much love.”
Finally, there is a wedding invitation
“Mr. Richard Nixon has the honor to announce his marriage to Madame A Lelu in Paris on September Twenty-sixth, 1940.”