Monday, November 26, 2012

Chapel Hill, North Carolina: West Franklin Street 3

Among other places, I ducked into Internationalist Books at 405 West [Benjamin] Franklin Street over Thanksgiving Break. This Chapel Hill cultural institution was founded by Bob Sheldon in the early 1980s, orginally over on Henderson Street above the then-location of Linda's Bar. Hector's, a Greek (and Trojan) hangout, was next door.

Bob moved into a bigger space at 408 West Rosemary Street, behind (north of) Franklin, about a year later. That's the one I worked at while still an undergraduate student at UNC. Bob also graciously permitted the Internationalist to be utilized as a meeting and yakking place and staging point for ad hoc protest groups, such as the one I joined to march and occupy Republican Congressman Bill Cobey's office with in 1985.

Now, in 2012 at the latest incarnation of Internationalist Books, I bought some artwork and chatted to a new worker about more recent goings on, and about Bob. 

To the right on the fringe of the picture above is the front of a record store, another still thriving Chapel Hill tradition.  

On the top shelf of this scanned image from inside Internationalist Books is a photo of founder Bob Sheldon, who was killed on February 21, 1991. The 1992 song "Chapel Hill" by Sonic Youth is loosely based on his death.

A salute to Bob and the Internationalist Books community!

Today's Rune: Journey.   


Johnny Yen said...

Weird coincidence-- was thinking of your previous posts about Sheldon today-- I think what spurred it was running to a store that is near my nursing school, which is in a pretty rough section of town (the Uptown neighborhood). My final year there, there were five shootings on the corner I waited for the bus home at (I did not mention this to my wife or kids!). Despite the gangs and crime, there are probably a hundred small businesses within a two block of that corner. The risks of running a business in a place are high, yet people keep doing it.

Erik Donald France said...

Weird, indeed! Be careful out there. That's the best we can do, I reckon. Cheers, man ~!

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad to hear that some things abide!

jodi said...

Erik, that looks like a strip I would love to hang out at. Very cool!