I once knew a gorgeous German blonde named Bettina whose love of great books was so deep, she'd become sexually aroused by the musty scent of first editions. I lost touch with her and yet I know she's grief-stricken at the slow death of the book and the demise of bookstores large and small. The most soulful L.A. nook was Baroque Bookstore in Hollywood. Founded by Brooklyn expat Red Stodolsky in 1972, it remained open until his death in 1998 at the age of 82. Stodolsky was the archetypal grump with a golden heart who refused to suffer fools but opened his slip of a salon to Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller as well as younger scribes like S.A. Griffin. To celebrate what would have been Red's 95th birthday, Griffin and poet Z will unveil a bronze plaque to commemorate him outside his former haven, now home to the Antebellum Gallery. Other participants in the afternoon festivities will be poet/Bukowski biographer Neeli Cherkovski, Linda Lee Bukowski, Iris Berry, Rafael FJ Alvarado, Red's son Arnie Stodolsky and others. John Dullaghan will screen Red scenes from his doc Bukowski: Born Into This while a no-host bar will loosen tongues. If only I could find Bettina… .

Sat., May 21, 1 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly