Thursday, October 10, 2013


Mary Jane Humphrey
1934 - 2013

As the founder of Once Upon a Time Bookstore, October 4, 1966,  just a short walk down Verdugo Road from our current location, Jane became a pioneer in children's bookselling.  Taking a cue from her dear friend, and neighboring shopkeeper, Fiona Bayliss, Jane treated children's books as gift items -- displaying them, not like traditional bookstores or libraries with spines stacked together on bookshelves, but with the books "faced out" on antique furniture. Showing the artwork of picture books elevated the perception of children's literature and has since been copied by countless other stores. Her love of art, nature and quality literature shone through and our community responded. Jane never dumbed down or thought children inferior, and our shop has always been seen as a bit sophisticated -- not with primary colors screaming for attention, but with cool shades of blue.  Jane's wit,  irreverent humor, whimsy and creativity were her calling cards.  Countless THOUSANDS of children have passed through this store, found reading gems highlighted by Jane and became lovers of literature.  My two children are to be counted among Jane's enduring fans, along with hundreds of grateful parents & grandparents. Our community will long remember her spirit, fortitude and foresight - and will forever be changed.

May she rest in peace with her Mr. Bob and enjoy all the Dixie-land music and books available.

(Written by Maureen Palacios, current owner)

1 comment:

  1. So sad. She sounds like she was a really wonderful person.