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COMPASS: A History in Public Art by Gail Simpson

by Vince Bushell Pipkorn’s Honor System

I always assumed some old guy owned the little block hut near the west end of the old North Avenue Bridge (which was much longer than the current bridge and ended near Humboldt Boulevard). In truth, I never saw the guy. But everyone seemed to know that you could pick up, as County Supervisor Gerry Broderick told me, a bag of sand for your kid’s sandbox. Or you could use a bag or two for your trunk or truck bed for traction in the winter. Hardly remarkable, you say. Well, the part that makes Pipkorn’s memorable was that there was almost never anyone there to take the money. There was a little slot in the side of the building and you shoved your buck or two – whatever the going rate for a bag of sand was – into the hole in the building where, I guess, it fell on the floor or into a box. People loved it, talked about it, and I doubt Pipkorn, whoever he was, lost much money. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 8