Lower Gerrard’s books and souvenirs store had a sense of humour, once upon a time. John Robert Colombo tells the story …
Long before we met Bill Andersen, Ruth and I would stroll with our friend Suparna along Gerrard Street East. While the ladies were shopping for fabrics and dresses, I would wander into the souvenir store — Hindu but not so identified — to purchase a couple of paperback books of Indian jokes and anecdotes.
I did this once or twice a year for perhaps ten years. One day I noticed that the store looked different on the outside — it was now painted green. I did not give this a second thought until I entered the store and mechanically headed over to the joke book section. There were mounds of Korans.
One of the clerks — who did not look at all bookish — stared at me staring at the Korans. I said, “Where are the joke books?” He said nothing. I said, “Is this store under new management?” He walked away. I briskly walked around, found no joke books — indeed, hardly any publications in English — and then left, not to return.