Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Flint Photos: The Book Stall and The Torch in 1977


A 1977 view of the corner of South Saginaw and First Street from the parking structure of Genesee Towers. Smith-Bridgman's looms in the background to the right, behind a wall of bricks. The Book Stall is visible in the lower right corner. (Photo courtesy of Jar With Most.)


Buckam Alley complete with a dusting of snow, a couple nice vans, and the Torch in 1977. (Photo courtesy of Jar With Most.)

14 comments:

  1. 1977 picture of Saginaw St. and 1st on your blog you can see the old Book Stall and in my mind I went around the alley to the Sports Bar and had a Scotch. My drink in those days.

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  2. I remember the old Book Stall...I loved the little upstairs balcony.

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  3. my biggest memory was going to the optomitrist in downtown at the CB building. It may have been Dr. Kehoe (yes, Mr. Kehoe's father). I can remember the looking outside for the first time from the 10th floor and the bricks from the street leaping into focus.

    The Book Stall must have been before my time, I don't remember it. I do remember when Young & Welshan's opened in downtown. I loved that old store they occupied. I was sorry to hear they couldn't compete after moving out to Miller Road.

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  4. So does Flint have a decent, independent bookstore these days?

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  5. I'm not sure about an independent bookstore, but my family certainly spent a lot of time up in Dr. Kehoe's office! Does anyone remember a large old-fashioned elevator complete with a wood interior, metal gate and HUMAN operator (imagine that!)? The one I'm thinking of led to a furniture store, or perhaps a floor in a department store where furniture was sold. Maybe they were relatively common in downtown Flint, but this is the only one I can remember.

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  6. Wow, I've been looking for any image of the Book Stall. I have such fond memories of that shop. Gladys Tate ran, owned (?) the store for some years, a good friend of my mother. I was always checking into that little shop, still one of my favorite independent bookstores, alas gone. I remember too the balcony that ran around the front part of the store. They had a children's book section in the second room. Fiction & non-fiction in the front downstairs. Music, cookbooks, etc. up on the balcony. There used to be an art supply store outside and downstairs.

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  7. I have been looking for a photo of The Book Stall. My very fond memories go back to...1969? Children's section. I would also browse the mezzanine book area at Smith B's.
    And speaking of Flint optometrists...I would have my eyes checked in my father's office (Ed Novak) on Detroit St., just a few doors from Don Haley's Italia Gardens.

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    1. The Book Stall was owned by Lyla and Karl Swayze. Gladys Tate, recalled by Tom Pohrt above, worked for Lyla but didn't run or own the store. I'm a physician, 62 years old, and living in the San Francisco area...and my first job as a teenager was working at The Book Stall. I started there as a sixteen year old and continued working there on Saturdays until I left for Ann Arbor; I'd still work occasional weekends there. Lyla and Karl were our next-door neighbors on Kensington...and I loved them dearly.

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    2. I was a trade sales (fiction, popular non-fiction) person for McGraw-Hill, fresh out of the Peace Corps... I called on Ms. Swayze for the first time in '69 (?). When I mentioned that I was in Peace Corps, she was too kind - her daughter was then serving, she said... a lovely person.

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  8. CaptainJinks - I don't remember you but glad you had fond memories of The Bookstall. The Swayze's were kind people. My mother purchased the store from them and ran it until it closed in the 80's. There were a couple of satellite locations that opened and closed but nothing with the charm of the original. The Mott's were regular customers, along with the everyone in downtown looking for the last minute Christmas gift.
    T. Crane

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    1. T. Crane, did you work with your mother at the book warehouse in Flushing after the Bookstall closed? I was an earnest but highly incompetent employee there during the summer of 1985 after my freshman year of college. Delivered books in the old station wagon to various locations around Flint.

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    2. And would dearly love any interior photos of the old Bookstall that I could post on the blog. Feel free to email me at gordoncyoung(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. Hi T. Crane,

    My name is Megan. Kenneth J. Crane was my grandfather. His son Ken is my dad. Are you still in the Flint area? I would love to get in touch. My email is daelana@gmail.com

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  10. Damn Gordie, I keep meeting people through your blog!

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