Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2016 Issue

A Year Like No Other

Bruce McKinney, fine with some wear and tear

A year ago, in December, I had elective open-heart surgery.  Congenital issues were in play and my doctors felt they could intervene to alter the pattern of early death by heart disease that is epidemic among men in my family.  The procedure was partially successful and I’m reporting in from the warm side of the mortal coil.

 

Then in September, as if to pack as many difficult situations as possible into a single year, I was hit by a car while walking.  So much for stop signs and crosswalks.  The low speed, reported as 15-17 miles an hour, saved me.  The driver was distracted and did not brake until I was thrown onto the hood of his taxi.  He then jammed on his brakes, throwing me a dozen feet ahead.  Over the next 6 days a debate raged as to what action should be taken.  The triage center at San Francisco General found I was substantially intact except for my left leg that was broken in six places.  Such multiple fractures can be complicated and my HMO declined to advocate a surgical solution.  Another surgeon, introduced by a friend, suggested a complete recovery was possible using screws, ultimately 9, to put the leg and ankle back together, then to be followed by a month strapped to a motion machine to kept scar tissue from reducing the range of motion.  This worked and 4 months later I have substantially resumed my daily walking regime.  I’m walking 3 miles a day and hope to be back to 5 by spring.

 

As if in compensation for the car accident a long-time member of AE/Rare Book Hub, in late September asked what it was I most hoped to accomplish with the site, and I said “completeness”, the building of a complete record of book and manuscript auction lots back to the American Civil War.  He then said he thought he had many early catalogues, they among material purchased in 1948 at the dispersal of unclaimed goods at a public warehouse in New Jersey.  You see, he’s 84 and has been at this for close on seventy years.

 

A few days later he confirmed he still had them and they are now ours.

 

The health issues have been difficult but that chance conversation has set the course for an extraordinary 2016.

 

So I’m grateful.  2015 was a difficult year and ’16 is encouraging.  What else can you ask for?

 

Best wishes for the New Year;

 

Bruce McKinney

Rare Book Hub / AE

bmckinney@americanaexchange.com

877.323.7273 or 415.823.6678


Posted On: 2016-01-01 07:06
User Name: aeg

Sorry to hear about your health problems, Bruce, but I do understand how your passion for "completeness' in your chosen area of interest can be a valuable diversion. I have now hit 70 and am still adding books to my collection (for that illusive completeness).
I enjoy your monthly commentary and wish you a healthy, prosperous and peaceful 1916
Paul Craft


Posted On: 2016-01-02 22:08
User Name: TwelfthStreetBo

I was dismayed to read of your 'annus horribilis' ! It must have been awful. Yet, every first day of every month, Rare Book Hub/AE promptly appeared with its interesting and important material that I enjoy and look forward to. How did you do it??? Hopefully you have recovered and have now set the bar impossibly high for we bibliophilic walkers. Bruce, I remember a phone conversation with you several years ago, and I've never forgotten what a warm and interested and kind person you are. I wish you a very Healthy and Happy and wonderful 2016.


Rare Book Monthly

  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900

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