Painting by Esther Rolick of Clara and Jason Seley, March 1947 [Photo: Ken Kelbaugh] 3/17/16
Hopefully, I was one of only a few unaware (until yesterday) of the existence of Before Your Quiet Eyes.
If you are one such dullard — now chagrined — retrace my path of enlightenment to 439 Monroe Avenue between Meigs and Averill, next to Voulas and the Park Bench.
For about four years now, Ken Kelbaugh’s labor of love has been his bookstore, Before Your Quiet Eyes. Overflowing with books, art and photos, BYQE is an urban oasis for indulging your visual and textual moods.
As explained by Ken acronymically:
BYQE is my sanctuary from the turbulent world of a School Psychologist. It is a place to regain the energy that has been drained by the work-a-day world.
I can stand Before pieces of art and examine them in detail, or review a passage that has brought meaning into my life, inspired me, or transported me to a different existence.
Your presence is always welcome and a cup of tea is always available to be shared. Wander through books from long ago or some more recently printed, sit and enjoy the surroundings, or stand and view the art that graces the walls from local artists, or from places unknown.
The Quiet of the store permits the words that are between the covers of the books to be explored like gems hidden many years and now once again found and preciously handled. Allow them, your Eyes, to still and soak in all of the details that hide in plain sight in book covers, dust jackets, prints, photos and ephemera.
And I’ll be marking Just Poets on my calendar the second Wednesday of every month. Those evenings Just Poets — a local writers group — gathers at Before Your Quiet Eyes. One reader is highlighted, followed by an open mic.
And hope to see you at the store’s occasional readings and art opening as advertised in the City, the D & C and his Ken’s facebook page.
For of those who have over the years enjoyed the Village Green, Gutenbergs, the Brown Bag, the Oxcart, Silkwoods and Ricks, Before Your Quiet Eyes carries on the rich literary tradition of Monroe Avenue with distinction, charm and spirit.
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