The Maniac Collector's Inbox (273)
August 26, 2007
Another Sherlockian Potpourri
I was in Phoenix last week. Julia Spegel, our German high-school visitor, moved over to my daughter Megan's house for the last week of her visit. She thought Texas was incredibly hot but I reminded her it was much warmer in Phoenix. The coolest thing I saw in Phoenix was a homeless man wearing a Sherlock Holmes Pub t-shirt. Sadly, I was without a camera.
Recently, Dorothy Stix decided to sell her collection of foreign language translations of the Canon. I had the good fortune of helping her price the books and had first pick of the litter. I chose a wide variety from the collection. There were no languages that I did not already have but some extremely interesting books all the same. I bought enough to blow my book-buying-budget well into the next decade. I pay her a little each month and she sends me a monthly box of books. It is fun for me to come home from a week away and have a nice surprise waiting to be opened.
Now another Sherlockian collector, Jerry Margolin, has sold his collection of Sherlockian books. His collection was bought by Otto Penzler. Jerry dropped me a note suggesting there may be several things that I would be interested in. I know for a fact there are things that I would like to add to my collection. I was lucky enough to have visited Jerry's house in Portland and spent several hours with my mouth gaped open. Even with his books gone, his home will not be void of Sherlockian interest. Jerry still owns the largest private collection of original Sherlockian artwork in the free world. I suppose I can mortgage the following decade's book-buying-budget to buy up another haul.
I have spent the nearly the entire weekend recovering about two months worth of data-entries that I somehow managed to delete from my flash-drive. I made one of those rookiest of rookie mistakes. I deleted my main Galactic Sherlock Holmes database without having a back-up. The last back-up was from June 2007. I got lazy and instead of maintaining two databases on separate computers, I had been only updating the flash-drive. Sometimes being Sherlockian collector calls for sacrifice and that's just what I did. I gave up my Saturday and Sunday. Instead of setting by the pool, soaking up the summer's last rays of sunshine, I was bent over my computer becoming unstupid.
On a recent trip to Fort Worth, I stopped into The Fort Worth Old Magazine and Bookshop. This is a place I have passed by several times but this was the first time it was open. The shop specializes in old newspapers, mostly from the forties and later and old issues of Life magazine. I spent more than and hour going through stack after stack of old newspapers. Try as I might, I found absolutely nothing remotely related to Sherlock Holmes. However, on my out, I passed by some boxes full of old postcards, Christmas cards, Easter cards, and Valentine Day cards.
I noticed one card sticking out from symmetry of the surrounding postcards. It was the irregular shape of a magnifying lens. When I pulled out the card, it was a circa 1940 Valentine card. There is a boy wearing a deerstalker cap and he is holding a lens so large he is using both hands to hold it. The caption is "Can you detect; That I expect; You to be mine: Dear Valentine." The back is signed "To: Janie From Rosemary." Hmmm, I won't go there.