John Lawrence Ramey, Book Collector


John Lawrence Ramey, 1911-1999.
Railroad mechanic and book collector


Among the greatest pleasures I received in my experiences at Bookana were the many friendships those years brought. One of the first customers to come into the store was a man I knew only as Ramey. Though he had had little formal education, he was probably as well schooled on history as anyone I have ever met. And he knew his books. Ramey was especially keen in materials involving the Civil War and the Old West. The man had been searching for books for more than twenty years, yet his personal library contained only several hundred volumes. The discriminating interest which went into that collection, however, made it worth a great deal of money.

Ramey was much help to Frank and me, for we had so much to find out about the kinds of stock we needed. In exchange for his advice, we usually gave Ramey the first chance to look over volumes of Americana that we had purchased. I haven’t seen Ramey in years, but if he’s still alive I know how to find him. All I have to do is to stake myself out in a bookstore – any one of them – and he’ll be along eventually.

Chalk Dust on My Shoulder, page 254-255 by Charles G. Rousculp, 1969


John Lawrence Ramey

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