Betty Davis sat in its storefront window. Her oversized black velvet hat shielded her aging face from her adoring fans waiting patiently in line for her autograph. There was no use in my parking the car to join the line. It had already wrapped itself around the building like a cobra. The clerk outside announced that the star would be leaving in less than an hour even though there was easily a three-hour line facing him. He stood outside the building on Hollywood Blvd., with its neon sign in a dignified font that declared simply and elegantly: "I'm Pickwick."

My visits to Pickwick began when there were only sewers under Hollywood Boulevard, no cave-ins from metro digging. The parking lot was for parking my car, not for the homeless to park their shopping carts.

Now the fancy script sign identifying the spectacular bookstore will change to a "For Lease"--Steinbeck, Bradbury, Faulkner, Chandler have been evicted.


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