The Alabama Bookstop Remembered By 14-year Employee John Cramer
Cramer did have brushes with fame there. Both Sterling Morrison (of the Velvet Underground) and Jandek were regulars, as were Billy Gibbons and Rudy T, and Ozzy Osbourne came in one night. "I think he was a vegetarian at the time, so he came in after going to Whole Foods," Cramer says. "He bought a book on genocide and another on venereal disease. He said the book on V.D. was for his daughter and was for informational purposes only, and he wanted everyone to know that although the book on genocide was for him, he was not a Nazi."
Lesser-known customers also made some memorable visits. One night one customer stabbed another with a pair of scissors. Another night Cramer encountered a homeless man talking on the lobby's pay phone. Or trying to - he was holding the receiver upside down, and gabbling into the earpiece. Cramer tried to intervene. "The guy kept giving me the 'hold on' finger," he says. "And then I heard him say 'I just want to speak to Ty Cobb.'"
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