The Quest for the Dark Tower Pt. 1: Clements Guns and Sporting Goods

***Spoiler warning! Though I've made every attempt to avoid giving away key plot points during this quest, it's still very possible that information discussed herein may spoil a new reader's experience, so consider yourself warned! ***

I've been a die-hard fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series since I first read books 1 and 2 waaay back in the summer of 1989. I've read each new book as they've become available (rereading the series as a whole each time over), as well as the current Marvel Comics series. That coupled with years of research into so many of the literary, cinematic, musical, and other various cultural and political references made in the series (also thanks in no small part to both Robin Furth's The Dark Tower: A Concordance and Bev Vincent's The Road to the Dark Tower) has resulted in my having an absurdly vast knowledge of most things Dark Tower.

Even though the story was said to have been completed in 2004, like so many other Dark Tower fans, I'm eagerly anticipating the latest chapter in the story (The Wind Through the Keyhole, scheduled for release April 24, 2012). So while we're all counting down the days for the new book, I figured I'd share some Dark Tower-related photos and memorabilia I've collected over the years.

Now let's travel todash to a place somewhere between New York City 1977 and Mid-World: Clements Guns and Sporting Goods!

Near the end of the second book, The Drawing of the Three, Roland Deschain of Gilead finds himself more or less on his own in New York City, racing against time to restock ammunition for his ancestral guns and find medication strong enough to kill the infection raging in his veins from a lobstrosity's bite, while also simultaneously trying to save the lives, minds and souls of his three traveling companions.

After consulting the mind of the monstrous Jack Mort, whose body he hijacked byway of a mystical door, Roland hops into a cab and tells the driver to take him to Seventh Avenue and Forty-ninth Street where, as we soon learn, Clements Guns and Sporting Goods is located.

In the New York of our where and when, Seventh Ave and Forty-ninth St. is home to The Playwright Tavern & Restaurant where Niki and I decided to grab a bite. The second story windows offered a great view looking out over the intersection, but the food ended up not treating us so well.

Roland had his own problems at this address. Shortly after he enters the shop he asks the clerk, "Fat Johnny" Holden, if he has a caliber chart he can look at. Fat Johnny offers up a dog-eared Shooter's Bible.

Roland thinks to himself that the book's title is very noble sounding before flipping through and finding the Fottergraff of the ammunition he requires: Winchester .45 pistol shells. But Fat Johnny tells Roland that without a handgun permit, there's no way he can sell the ammo to him legally.

It takes a little guile, finesse and the involvement of two of "New York's Finest" before Roland can lay his hands on those precious gun shells, but - true gunslinger that he is - he eventually wins through and before long he's striding down the street towards his next objective . . .

Long days, pleasant nights!


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