Good morning, Netizens...
One of the truly gentle spirits of
Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue has died, and with her, a part of me also
has gone. This picture, taken by Pat Wade of the SF Chronicle does
her justice I think.
Cody, the quiet but passionate co-founder of Cody's Bookstore, one of
Berkeley's preeminent bookstores on Telegraph Avenue, died Thursday
at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland of heart failure. She was 87. Although
Cody's has been closed for several years, I could never forget
Patricia Cody and her husband, Fred Cody. They had a bookstore that
spoke to me. Whenever I would pull out of Berkeley in my truck,
heading to points unknown, between Cody's and Moe's Bookstore, nearly
across Telegraph Avenue from one another, I always had a ready supply
of reading material stashed away in various places in my truck.
Matters got even worse when I began working at Moe's Bookstore
because then I had the best access to books that anyone could ask
it were not for Patricia's unswerving dedication to maintaining the
books and inventory, I am relatively certain Cody's would have gone
out of business long before its time. Always known for its outrageous
political and artistic inventory, still you never knew who you would
meet there. Some of the literary luminaries of my time held readings
there; Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti to name two of my
Codys sold the business in 1977, and the famed bookstore closed in
2008, a victim of Internet sales and discount book offerings at chain
stores. But in its heyday, Cody's was a staple of Bay Area literary
life and a beloved community gathering spot. In the raucous heydays
of Berkley, during the 70's riots, both it and Moes became safe
havens for folks who wanted no part of the violence sweeping through
the streets. One young man died of a gunshot wound atop Cody's. His
only crime was watching the Alameda County Sheriff's Department and
the National Guard tossing teargas as the people below on the street.
Bookstore still exists on Telegraph Avenue, thank goodness, but the
co-founder and most gentle creature ever to grace Cody's is no longer
with us, and I rue her passage.