In my post of February 10, 2013, I talked about a visit to Boca Grande, Florida. Wonderful. Memorable time. And I alluded to the Boca Grande Public Library.
Fast backwards about 32 years ago. Donna, Lauren and I were in Boca Grande with our dear friends Diane, Dave and Dave Jr. Dave said “want to go check out the library?” And we did. The Johann Fust Community Library. Nice library. Lotsa books. In the back on the far right, there was a cage of sorts. A fenced area. And a locked fence door. I walked back and peered in. Oh my socks and shoes.
In that cage, on the shelves, I recognized books that were hundreds of years old. I began to perspire. The librarian Pansy walked over. “Can I help you?” “Ummm. . . may I look in there (pointing)?” “You’re in interested in that?” Mmmmm. . . sure. She opened the lock and let me in. And I drooled. . . . . Dozens of first editions (e.g. Origin of the Species – 1859) and books dating to the 1500’s. Without appearing too enthused, I casually asked “what are you going to do with these books?” Pansy folded her arms, shook her head and said “I just don’t know.” Now I am not as dumb as I look so I offered – “you . . . ummm . . . want to sell them?” And she looked at me incredulously “you would want to buy them?” And I said yes. And I did. Suitcases and boxes full of rare books donated years before by Charles Goodspeed of Boston’s famed rare book shop. All brought home. And quickly deaccessed.
It was a memorable “score.” Like buying the Rock Island Railroad archives (5/15/14) and finding the amazing cemetery of books (8/24/14). I’ve always liked libraries. . . .