Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Naked Bookseller/musician and all that Jazz

So, you think I was kidding about the Naked Musician? Well, this is the best reason I know to come to Quartzsite.
(I must confess that I lied in my last posting.  There are a few permanent structures in the town and this is one of them.)

As you enter the town from the east you will see this used-book store on the right.

The day I arrived I found several authors there for book-signings.  Joe Gerard was one author who told me he had been coming to Quartzsite in his RV for years from Challis, Idaho and he gave me some great tips on places to see when I get to that state.

Inside I found an amazing bookstore with lots of interesting nooks & crannies ....

Including hundreds, if not thousands, of long-forgotten titles and authors.  The fellow behind the counter informed me that the owner, Paul Winer, would be back in a few minutes so I should 'get my camera out and just wait'.
He didn't ask, nor seem to care, why I was there--he just assumed it was because I wanted to see Paul Winer.

And when Paul came rushing through the door in a flurry I could clearly see why the clerk thought I might indeed be interested.  Paul is a very slight man with the brownest, leathery skin I think I have ever seen--much like a well-basted and roasted Thanksgiving turkey.


And I could see a lot of it--actually just about all of it!

A large crowd had gathered around the piano and Paul obliged by immediately sitting and playing some really great boogie-woogie style music that he, himself,  had written. 

He exuded energy, playing vigorously for 15 minutes or so, then jumping up and moving books around so he could add another piano into the already over-crowded bookstore. Some of the customers pitched in and helped him unload from a pickup and bring in a second piano that someone had donated to his store.

It took only a few minutes before the novelty-of-nudity was replaced by his very comfortable-in-his-own-skin personality.   Paul's talent as a musician and his charismatic personality held the attention of the 20 people jammed into that bookstore--and mine as well.
I learned that he and his wife had moved to Quartzsite years before due to the health of their child.  Tragically, their daughter's illness took her life at the very young
age of 8 but the Winers stayed on to become fixtures in the town.

All the time I was there Paul never stood still long enough for me to get a full-frontal picture but a few of his motorcycle friends took the one above.
I had heard about Paul long before I started on this trip and I knew, without a doubt, he would have to be one of my Quests.  I feel as though I have earned my 'merit badge'.
By the way, Paul's wife makes all of his accessories--little crocheted bags to hold all his junk.  (Sorry about that)


  1. Wow. That's amazing! I guess creativity will find a way out even in a place with nothing.

  2. Paul is also known as Three Socks, although he seldom wears the other two. He's an amazing free spirit.

  3. Thank you for my middle of the night reading adventure.....I love reading your your blog!
    After all we do share the same sister..:)

  4. Well Toni, ….I really think you have outdone yourself this time……..I nominate this blog as your most revealing for sure….

    1. that was from Dean....have a great day Toni....keep it comimng....