I’m sure most of you reading this story have seen a naked man before. Some of you probably are naked men. However, short of going to a nude beach, it’s not often you see one out in public.
Paul Winer, the infamous owner of Reader’s Oasis Books in Quartzsite, Arizona, prefers to be naked. That’s where I met Paul, aka the naked bookstore owner. He spends his days running his bookstore wearing nothing but a hat, a necklace, and a strategically placed crocheted sock.
It is rumored he often walks over the London Bridge in Lake Havasu in the summer — in the buff. That might be true. I can tell you he was very tan and had no tan lines. (Remember, I could see almost everything. Trust me on the lack of tan lines.)
As well as being a really nice guy, Paul is an accomplished blues musician and cartoonist. He’s photogenic, too. He will gladly pose for pictures. His wife graciously took a photo of Paul and I. (You can find in on my Flickr page.) She was clothed, he wasn’t. I think it’s probably one of those “opposites attract” marriages.
Get a book and a photo with Paul at Reader’s Oasis Books, 690 E. Main St. in Quartzsite.
A Pyramid in Arizona
Believe it or not, there is a pyramid in the United States. Yes, it’s in Arizona. Not far from the naked bookstore owner is the burial site of Hadji Ali, aka “Hi Jolly,” topped with a pyramid.
Hadji Ali, the lead camel driver for the U.S. Army’s Camel Corps in the mid-1800s, was commissioned to drive the Army’s camels, imported from the Middle East, across the southwestern United States. The U.S. Army’s Camel Corps experiment was not successful, but Hadji Ali decided to remain in Arizona. The camels stayed, too.
Hadji Ali married and became a successful businessman. He was so well-loved by the citizens of Quartzsite that they built a beautiful quartz pyramid for his tomb when he died in 1902.
About 50 years after his death, the military decided to honor Hadji Ali’s service to the U.S. by attaching a commemorative plaque to the pyramid. Better late than never, the usual modus operandi of the U.S. government.
Pay homage to Hadji Ali at his pyramid on West Main Street near Business 10, a few miles down the road from the bookstore.
Come along on my next adventure when I see The Thing in Dragoon, Arizona.
To see many more photos, follow more of my weird, wacky, and wonderful RV adventures on Flickr.
My next stop: Strange RV Encounters: What Is ‘The Thing’ in Dragoon, Arizona?
Read how it all began: Strange RV Encounters: An Introduction.