In 1967, John Rodgers, manager of Al's, a used bookstore in Phoenix, discovered metaphysics.  He thought books on the subject would be good for the store to carry. Metaphysical books were hard to find and there were no metaphysical book stores. After the store moved down the street to 1454 E. Van Buren, he persuaded the owner, Saul Winer, to to open an entire section for new metaphysical books and merchandise. The boss even sent him to Los Angeles to make contacts. This was the first metaphysical source in the Valley. The metaphysical (or occult) section was very popular and continued to grow.
A few years later Saul Winer sold the store to John (Jack) ? who thought he would take advantage of the interest in the occult and metaphysics. He opened up a store on Scottsdale's Fifth Avenue, moved the entire metaphysical section into and called it the Alpha Book Shoppe. It was popular, but a while after it opened a depression hit the Valley and business died off.
Jack was hurting financially, so he put John Rodgers on part time and moved the Scottsdale store back to Phoenix into its old section in Al's which had now become Al's FAMILY Bookstore.
Still hurting financially, Jack tried several ideas. He finally worked out a deal in which he would sell the metaphysical section of the store to the New Age Community Church(NACC). Under this involved contract the church would own the metaphysical section but it would remain inside Al's and John Rodgers would continue to manage Al's for five years. In exchange NACC would receive 1% of all sales at Al's and there would be no rent. In effect there were two stores under one roof, both staffed by the same person.  The metaphysical section was now called Alpha Book Center (ABC)
This situation continued for five years. When the contract expired. John and his new wife Joy, moved the Alpha Book Center to 1928 E. McDowell. They bought counters and built shelves. When they first moved in, they could fill only a third of the 1200 square feet building, But they grew.
        The Store Dragon. For nearly years, Dragon (yes, that was his name) protected the store from evil spirits and other dragons. Or so it was said. An iguana, he was nearly four feet from tip to tail when he died at about ten year of age. When he was young he liked to ride around the store on the head of Dr. John. He was very strong and, at one time leaped almost four feet up onto a shelf.  He lived on kale and Joy's love.
For more photos and info go to the Alpha Book Center Photo Gallery