Happy 50th birthday, Cody's Books, and rest in peace, Cody's Telegraph Street -- the most iconic branch of the Cody's Books triumverate is closing for good tonight at 8 p.m. Folks are pretty worked up -- two folks have written poems (scroll to end).

Andy Ross, the selling owner, threw a party on Sunday, which was 1) the bookstore's 50th birthday (July 9, 1956), 2) the 29th anniversary of Ross's purchase of the store from the Cody family, and 3) the 23rd anniversary of Fred Cody's death.

Pat Cody, Fred's wife, was at the store yesterday, and she and Ross discussed the Cody's story -- being read there, Ferlinghetti pouring rose petals on Anais Nin, the store getting firebombed for selling The Satanic Verses -- and they debated whether the internet (Ross) or UC Berkeley's insularity (Cody) killed the store. (Mr. Ross, your slashdot attack will begin shortly. Probably won't be as bad as getting firebombed for Rushdie, though.)

The other two Cody's stores will remain open, and the Fourth Street store is getting the Telegraph Ave's book stocks. (Can't you send any of those books over to the SF branch? The selection seems startlingly thin over there sometimes.)