I had begun to think that interest in my little contribution to this blog was waning enough that I would be able to slip right past the post in which I had promised to elucidate my multiple disasters.
Most of the veteran collectors ask for Guy, and yesterday I had to answer that Guy was not available, could I possibly be of any help? Just before I completed a phone call with Mr. W., he asked me (in the classic gentlemanly manner of many from the southwestern states) for a preview. Of my calamities.
And so, with a nod toward Arizona, I am sitting down to recount a few of my more unfortunate escapades. I have called the same person with the same information twice, and neglected ever calling an important other. Through the first ten days I went fuzzy every time I needed to pull a title and date because I couldn’t even begin to locate the identifiers amidst all the fancy, scrolly banner headings. But many such moments were never known to any of the rare newspaper community because the group of people here at Timothy Hughes is absolutely splendid, and they countered most of them before anyone even noticed. I sent the skylift up to the shelf under the roofline, lowered it, maneuvered the 20’ row and parked. I was back at my desk before someone casually reminded me that the unwieldy volume had to be returned to the same location. Friday I answered the phone, forgot the business name, and then just began to laugh — because what else could I do? It’s hard to be new, but it’s downright ironic in a place so full of old things. Surely the papers yield evidence that I am not, by far, alone in my muddles.
Still, the most colossal so far — including my omission of eBay tracking numbers, which potentially plummeted our heretofore stellar ratings — was the rare paper that I sold to two different people. In case you were wondering, there was only one. We didn’t have a second issue anywhere in the roughly 12,000 searchable square feet. I don’t know enough to help with the hunt, but everyone capable tried any space or collection that could possibly contain this gem. And, remarkably, they looked at me with something akin to regret when each location had been exhausted. Somehow, to their chagrin, they had not saved me from my own folly.
Mercifully, the fellow that I had previously introduced to the paper (I used the word “stunning” as I described it to him) was very gracious when I called. But in all sincerity, while I seldom make the same error too many times, I am working to meld all this newness into the well-oiled machine that is Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers  …without excessive further ado.
So, if Guy isn’t available, one of these days I really will be able to help.