Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

J. Reed on new Bright Star restaurant centennial book

Expand Messages
  • Amos J Wright
    JIM S LATEST RED CLAY DIARY ENTRY: From the Red Clay Diary of Mister
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2008
    • 0 Attachment








      From the Red Clay Diary of Mister Reed’s Neighborhood


      In my antique store, I always keep hundreds of old, abandoned letters, diaries, postcards, scrapbooks, personal notes—all of them one of a kind, all of them personal and private, each of them a testimonial from a person’s life and times. I cherish these shards, these tiny evidences of lives lived long ago, and I’m thrilled when others come to the store to purchase and cherish them, ready to pass them on to the next generation.


      It’s even more thrilling to see a scrapbook-diary-personal narrative put together and duplicated hundredsfold in book form, so that people everywhere can have a taste of history, firsthand. A Centennial Celebration of the Bright Star Restaurant is such a  recently-minted relic. It’s a merry jumble of anecdotes and biographies, photographs and reminiscences designed to give the reader a glimpse at how one entrepreneurial business wound up lasting an entire century…and seems prepared to go for a second one.

      If you’ve never dined at the Bright Star Restaurant in Bessemer, Alabama, poring through this book may inspire you, anyhow—inspire you to look around and begin appreciating all the other family businesses you encounter each week—the shoe repair shop, the florist, the grocer, the newsstand—and begin to ask questions about how they managed to stay in business against all odds, against all retail-chain competition. They are all multi-storied.

      The stubborn shall inherit the earth, and most small businesses cling to life simply by keeping on keeping on, ignoring the naysayers, ignoring the former customers who drive fifteen miles thataway to purchase an item that is $2.00 less than the one you carry, ignoring the fact that many patrons living today have not experienced what it is like to deal with a proprietor who not only knows the stock and its pros and cons, but also is willing to share some friendly background information, willing to help you learn how to appreciate the product even more, willing to give you a smile and ask about your life, ask about your Mom’n’em, share your sadness and joy, before sending you on your way.

      Each and every small business that has managed to survive the decades deserves to be appreciated and celebrated. Each proprietor who has resisted all temptation to sell out and give up all the knowledge and expertise and wisdom absorbed through the years, deserves a moment of your time. There’s a story there, a tale to be told, and if you take the time to find a parking space and abandon the beaten track and go inside to really see, really listen, really experience that little piece of American history called the Small Independent Business, you’ll come away enriched and perhaps inspired to open your own little Shop of Independence.


      It’s good, not to have a boss.

      Take a look at the Bright Star book...take a look at the reminiscences scattered throghout Reed Books Antiques and then start recording what you know of the best and most deservedly cherished small businesses you know about. You just might be inspired to write your own book. 

      A Centennial Celebration of the Bright Star Restaurant. By The Bright Star Family with Niki Sepsas. With tributes by Richard Shelby and Gene Stallings. Xviii, 170 pp. Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8173-1598-6.  


      Jim Reed writes true stories and operates Reed Books Antiques/The Museum of Fond Memories in Birmingham , Alabama . His latest work appears in three recent books: An Alabama Christmas: 20 Heartwarming Tales by Truman Capote, Helen Keller, and More (Sweetwater Press), Whatever Remembers Us by Sue Brannan Walker and William Chapman (Negative Capability Press), and a Limited Edition of Christmas Comes But Once A Day (Blue Rooster Press). www.jimreedbooks.com


      --Jim Reed © 2008 A.D.





      Birmingham Art Association MEMBERS’ SHOW



      2306 Second Avenue North (35203)

      Opening reception:

      July 18, 2008


      See the show July 18-August 1, 2008 

      While you're making the rounds

      come to Hawthorn Gallery Friday night!



      The Museum of Fond Memories at Reed Books Antiques

       carries all those wonderful old magazines and catalogs that you used

      to get when you were young and tender and full of vim...filled with pictures

      and descriptions of stuff you just had to have and maybe, just maybe, still

      just have to have. (See Jim's story above.)



      Each week, another Downtown Rhapsody

      unfolds, as Jim looks out of the corner

      of his eye to see what's really going on.

      Stay tuned.







       Yet more exciting news!  


      Click below for news  about the preview of the  Birmingham film SIX BLOCKS   WIDE!


      Teresa Thorne adapted the screenplay from her short story, “Trouble,” which first appeared in the Birmingham Arts Journal in April, 2005. Click below to read the original story (on page 15). Teresa’s works have also appeared in these issues of the Birmingham Arts Journal: April 2003, April 2006 volume 3 # 1, and January 2007 volume 3 # 4.



      Enjoy other issues of the Journal at



      Watch for the 22nd edition of the Birmingham Arts Journal this month!


      Submit your art & photography & prose & poetry via email to:




      Be sure to partake of all the other wonderful things going on in Historic Old Downtown Birmingham.


      Want more? Stay tuned.


      Want less? Send email to jim@... and have your address removed. 



      Want to see more cool stuff Downtown?








      Want to write successfully?



      Want to have your art & writing

      exposed to the world?



      Want to know how to make God  laugh?  

       Tell him your plans.




      Visit us. We have everything from  previous lives: old letters, diaries, postcards, journals, snapshots, scrapbooks...and the most important books of all--BLANK BOOKS, ready to be filled in by you and you alone!

      Come write your own journal, make your own book,  record your own life.


      Reed Books Antiques
      The Museum of Fond Memories
      2021 Third Avenue North
      Birmingham , Alabama 35203
      email: jim@...
      website: www.jimreedbooks.com
      Tuesday through Friday 10:30am till 5:30pm
      Saturdays 11am till 4pm






    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.