Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wicked Wichita

I have often been accused of exaggerating for shock effect the randy ambience of my hometown, but here are a couple of pieces of evidence in my favor.

First, here's a shot of the exterior of the old Rector's Bookstore in downtown Wichita, slated shortly for demolition. My old pal Krista D. was kind enough to go down and take this picture for me:

Rector's was the first bookstore I got to know really well. In the seventies it was also the first place I ever saw real porn, in the form of novels like these two gems, from Beeline Books:

(top image via Lynn Munroe Books)

It's hard for me to imagine how old hometown's city fathers allowed this kind of thing to be publicly displayed (this was in the days before dirty book stores opened in town) but I vividly remember bouts of furtive skulking amidst the racks toward the back of the store and devouring short bits of books like "Bondage Wife for Sale" before sweatily slipping them back onto the rack. Ah, adolescence.

The second delightful bit of kink, recently stumbled across, truly boggled my mind:

If anything like this was around when I still lived there I was sadly unaware of it. Wichita seems like a lot more fun than it was when I lived there.


  1. This is not the Wichita you wrote about in the Ice Harvest at all...Love the cover of 3 for all

  2. Anyone who lived in DeKalb, IL during the seventies remembers "Dirty Ralph's" where rack after rack (no pun intended) displayed nothing but softcore magazines filled with photos of big-breasted women. Down the street was the Paperback Grotto, where you could find your hardcore porn, including the kinds of books displayed above. [Strains of "Faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases" swell in the background.]

  3. I used to work at a bookstore that had a tiny adult section (just 4'), the bottom shelf of which was packed with those Beeline paperbacks. The only guy who ever bought them--and he knew when the new ones came out--was a nasty old bastard with long yellow fingernails who would giggle to himself when he saw little kids in the store. He was also devoted to porno mags like "Family Secrets" and "Family Heat." Oh, and Nancy Drew books. I shit you not.

  4. Scott this is good stuff, give us more.

  5. On a technical note, the images of the book covers do not expand when you click on them...

  6. Dirty Ralph's, alas, is no more, but the paperback Grotto still lives on.