Wednesday, August 31, 1977 The Daily Tar Heel 5
'Old, antiquated, used books'
'Dusty treasures shop's specialty
It may not be the biggest or the most sophisticated
bookstore around, and it certainly doesn't carry the latest
popular novels or any of the textbooks stocked in the other
bookstores around town, but if you like the idea of spending
1 5c for a used paperback, or a few dollars for some outdated
law texts, then the Old Book Corner on Rosemary Street
could be appealing.
The frame shop stands in stark contrast to the concrete
monolith of the NCNB Plaza across the street, as its
inhabitants don't seem to fit in with the fuss and flurry of
downtown traffic and shoppers.
"This is where you come if you can't find it anywhere else,"
says Old Book Corner owner "Bunny" Smith. Much of their
business is done through antiquarian book journals,
particularly for people who get a kick out of having first
edition copies of important books. A limited first edition
work by Carl Sandburg sells for $65.
From the neat and uncluttered appearance of the shop's
sales floor, it would seem the day to day bookselling business
is somewhat slack, compared to other stores. But a look into
the back hallways and rooms testifies to an entirely different
In Bunny's office, tucked away in a back corner of the
book shop, there is little space on floor or wall that is not
covered with books some of them still dusty from untold
years in someone's attic, some of them in need of new
binding, and almost all of them unfamiliar to a college
student who reads mainly textbooks.
Bunny says the books are "old, used, second-hand, rare,
Ring Lardner was a sports reporter from
Niles, Michigan who made the big time
literary markets of the Saturday Evening
Post, Cosmopolitan and The New Yorker.
His classic short story, "Haircut," is in all the
anthologies of American writers. During the
1920s he was one of the highest paid writers
in the country. His brash, illiterate baseball
player, Jack Keefe, of "You Know Me Al"
became a favorite American folk hero. And
he taught a y oung generation of American
writers how to write the way we talk.
by Walter Spearman
A Biography of Ring Lardner
by Jonathan Yardley
Random House, 415 pp.
Jonathan Yardley, who has boldly tackled
Lardner's biography in Ring: A Biography
of Ring Lardner, (Random House. 415 pp.
$12.95) is a 1961 graduate of the University,
of North Carolina, where he was editor of
the Daily Tar Heel. Later he worked on the
New York Times, the Greensboro Daily
News and the Miami Herald, where he is
now book editor.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO
THE BIGGEST MOONSHINE
RACKET IN THE COUNTRY?
GREAT LIFE STORY OF 3:00
WENDELL SCOTT, WORLD'S 5:00
1ST BLACK RACE CAR DRIVER 7:00
7:30 Pi . .
The Carolina Union Activities Board, Eric Locher, pres.
If interested in serving on a committee, stop by the Union information desk.
CURRENT AFFAIRS Nancy Mattox
The Current Affairs Committee reaffirms commitment to the education and well beirfg of the student
community, both by dealing with the current concerns of the immediate community and issues facing the
state and country at large. The aim is to bring students together with decision makers and experts in
participatory Group-Think. Topics may range from scientific responsibility and recombinant DNA to the
recall of a student body president.
FORUM Ed Nanney
Striving to present a balanced program, the committee selects and presents speakers which represent
the wide-ranging interests of the university community. Classroom visits, informal receptions and other
opportunities for personal contact with students are incorporated into the speaker's itinerary when
GALLERY Sirtonno Bowen
The Gallery Committee involves working with and meeting new, exciting people who are interested in
expanding their knowledge of Art. A variety of exhibits ranging from c rafts to sculpture will be selected
and displayed by the committee.
PERFORMING ARTS Carolyn Jack
The committee provides the UNC campus with entertainment and cultural events in the areas of dance
comedy and variety, music and drama. It seeks to enrich campus life not only with professional
programs, but with opportunities for students to display their own talents and to create their own
PUBLICITY Richard Young
Utilizina The Tar Heel, other newspapers, monthly calendars, posters and fliers, radio and TV and the
inf amous Cube, the committee's staff of artists ond writers will keep the university community abreast of
what is to come.
RECREATION Helen Ruth Fleming
Tk.Rrr.n.ion Committee is in charge of coordinating and creating both competitive and spontaneous
e r!r Areas oltteles, include: the College Bowl, bowling, billiards, bridge and chess. Whether
Zugh tournaments, exhibitions or instruction, the committee prov.des o year-round program of
w?"!1 ""A"0 !nDefioJonah the Union coffeehouse, will be the major focus of the Social
gatherings. j - . t
SOU1H uuvirua - " :. . to dinoteprograms between the dorms "south of the Bell
The Cp.C!MJJt aPs a9catalyst t0 create a better liing,earnina
iMuir niwi mi var wi vmv.'
for South Campus residents 'and for the
ECT5 nana rop- .., , ,
i special Projects encompasses a
.n. r student groups. In addition, the
As the name imp
r::r V-bE- engage in
I .J a ... 4.i4anl ArOUOS.
VIDEOTAPE - Clarence Burke jence )he committee will provide students with intersting
anidnTriiv..now,,U they w'Jset "canned" programs and provide promotional tape, for other
Ring Lardner mixture of worship, criticism
The combination of Ring Lardner and
Jonathan Yardley is as happy as the
combination of Babe Ruth and baseball.
Yardley has enjoyed a lifelong love affair
with baseball and never seems to tire of the
subject. He also has a craftsman's
appreciation for style and showed it in the
witty, light editorials and perceptive book
reviews he wrote for the Greensboro Daily
News. H is satirical putdown of sentimentally
florid nature editorials is as much a classic in
its area as Lardner's famous "Haircut." He
approaches Ring Lardner with just the
proper mix of warm hero worship and acute
Comparing Lardner to friends and
contemporaries such as Scott Fitgerald and
Ernest Hemingway and noting that Lardner
never tackled the full-length novel, Yardley
concludes: "He had worked as hard as he
could to fulfill his potential, and when he saw
what he had created he felt cheated. His
talent was too limited and so was what it
Or as Yardley wrote later in the book: "In
truth, he probably did not care all that much
about being great, but neither did he want to
disappoint. He was a miniaturist to whom
the world seemed to be shouting "Inflate!
Inflate!" and he could not handle it."
You might say that Jonathan Yardley
presents a two-ring circus or plays a double
header in his book: He gives us a full picture
of American baseball as reported by Ring
Lardner in his newspaper stories, columns
and short stories; and he also gives us a
DAVED CARRADINE j
ELVIS ON TOUR
entire campus as well.
myriad of focal points whether initiated by an
committee organizes such projects as the Free
ft. -d.-nn experience" as either student or
antiquated, or whatever you want to call them." Some arc
bought or traded, and a lot are simply dredged from dusty
attics as the sign outside the door says.
For collectors of old and rare books around the southeast,
the Old Book Corner stands in high repute. Opened in 1969.
the Rosemary street shop is a spinoff of the old book section
of the Intimate Bookshop on Franklin street, which Bunny
and her husband Paul operated for fifteen years.
Bunny herself seems uncommonly suited to her work. She
sits in her cluttered office, her tiny frame dwarfed by the desk
in front of her and the books all around. She puffs constantly
on a cigarette, and keeps a coffee cup nearby. She is
fascinated by the old and obscure, and has a compulsion for
Annual excursions in past years have taken her to the
ancient ruins of pre-Columbian civilization in Central
America, and through the rural countryside of England. The
English, she says are "masters of adaptive restoration,"
believing in the doctrine that it is better to restore old
structures to fit new functions than to destroy and rebuild.
The once-frequent travels are now becoming more of an
effort for the 7 1-year-old lady. "We've already seen about all
the ruins there are" in Central America, she notes. And
although she would like to have seen the Queen's Silver
Jubilee in England this summer, she's not terribly impressed
by the thought of spending time in London.
"It's too big," she says. "Even Chapel Hill is a little too big
picture of American literature of the
Twenties and Thirties, with Lardner's short
stories, books and such plays as "June
Moon" (which ran for 273 performances)
and "The Love Nest."
Since baseball is one of Yardley's favorite
things and since it served to launch Lardner
into his literary orbit, Yardley begins his
biography with an affectionate essay on
American baseball in the early years of the
century ("Frank Chance's Diamond"). If
you are not a baseball fan yourself and prefer
to get on to such literary gems as Lardner's
"He gave her a look you could pour on a
waffle," you may find the baseball pages
excessive. But he soon turns to Lardner's
childhood in Michigan, where he grew up in
an affluent, loving family, which he left to
write sports in Chicago and build up his
'reputation as both a sports writer and
humorous columnist ("In the Wake of the
The warmest pages of Ring concern his
four-year courtship of Ellis Abbott of
Goshen, lnd., whose father was somewhat
worried about her dating a not-quite-respectable
sports writer and who was
herself concerned about his already heavy
drinking. Sources for this section were the
700 letters they exchanged. At the time of
When on campus let the Student Stores
Snack Bars be your quick lunch stop.
THERE'S MORE AT
j, i" , '."i fij rSl - ' ' " j j-J jJ :
u i m H a - -ii mm: sal', fc
-t-l - V" I'M i ml
"This is where you come if you can't find it anywhere else," says Bunny Smith, owner
of the Old Book Corner on Rosemary Street. Bunny and her husband Paul have
managed to keep finding enough old books to keep the shop stocked with thousands
of every kind imaginable. Where else can a book be bought in Chapel Hill for a mere
15 cents? Filled with everything from dime-store type novels to expensive out-of-print
first editions, the shop has maintained an impressive reputation through North
Carolina and the South. Like the English she admires, Bunny firmly believes In
"restoring old structures."
their marriage, Yardley surmises, both were
virgins and very shy about sex, but the
marriage was a happy one through the years,
even to the last, sad period "when Ring
gradually moved into the role of invalid and
Ellis into that of guardian."
Lardner moved out of straight sports
writing and even branched out of his daily
column with a series of stories about Jack
Keefe. the baseball player who is "a fountain
of alibis, mangled axioms and witness
repartee" and the hero of "You Know Me
Al." Jack can toss off a remark like "it is too
late now to cry in the sour milk" or "they's
plenty of time for the laugh to be on the other
foot before the war is over." Yardley calls
Keefe "one of the great originals in American
' fiction" and says that Keefe's vernacular has
had a lasting effect on the way American
writers describe American talk.
After selling stories to the Saturday
Evening Post and Redhook, Lardner moved
his family of Ellis and the four boys to New
York and settled down in a big house at
Great Neck, where their neighbors included
the Scott Fitgeralds, the Herbert Bayard
Swopes and the Gene Bucks. Their closest
friends were the Grantland Rices. Lardner
was getting $4,500 for short stories, was
writing a column, scripting a comic strip and
taking on every possible writing assignment.
He was also spending everything he made
and drnking more heavily than ever, with
his physical condition complicated by
tuberculosis. Ellis was constantly at his side,
but the four boys tended to get lost in the
confusion and saw very little of their father.
Disillusioned by the Black Sox baseball
scandals of the 1919 World Series. Lardner
turned to the theater and wrote lyrics,
adapted his stories to the stage and tried to
make as much money as possible. Only
"June Moon" proved to be a real success,
The friendship with Fitzgerald increased the
drinking ("a brotherhood of the
intemperate"). Lardner was a shy, quiet
man; and Yardley believes that one of the
reasons he drank was to enable him to feel at
ease. Another reason may well have been
that ne ten ne naa not uvea up 10 nis
potential. Yardley never loses, his affection
for Lardner and succeeds admirably in
making his readers feel the same affection.
Lardner died in 1933 and one feels
tempted to add that, in his case, "the game
was called on account of darkness."
TAR HEEL classifieds
Pit Stop (in the Student Store)
Y Court (next to Southldg.)
Bar (Law School)
Osiet (Medical School)
Circus Room (Lower Quad)
Nook (School of Public Health)
Dorm Convenience Stores
SHE SERVED HER COUNTRY
THE ONLY WAY SHE KNEW HOWt
3:45 JOIY MMTHISTOtl
5:30 7 (i j
7:20 f A
9:10 I .V
ii H 00x03
VVf WASHINGTON j
H " I
ahinmm . 1
3RD BIG WEEK
BAST FRANKUN IIMII i I
I Swept Away
A film by R I
Lino Wertmuller j
i . . ............... w.-. jm
Anlmtl CrKr R
C I) Mr Brothrl III
SeP' 111 Ptui -lorn" - Chipt. a Ul
jErS HELD OViR
jlul.iipi 4TH BIG WEEKI
. snow! fpt SORRY NO PASSES I
1 ?-?0irV Jr3 It's the biggest. I
I RrrmOl HELD OVER
ILV'SlMlfll 2ND 8,0 WEEK!
show : STl1"1 I
I HAriYMAN 1
I SORRY NO PASSU
rrSSV jr 1 HELD OVER 1
1.. 5 .11 9 wkk I
show! sorry no passes
2:30 8 Abngomeago 1
4:45 1 jnageioxyjarrawa.. f
9.15 !S- z .ff