It Might as Well Be Spring | Page 51 | Newberry

It Might as Well Be Spring

Odd, how we handle blizzards in Chicago. We have one, we make a fuss over it, and then after two weeks we say “Okay, been there”, we turn up the thermostat and we melt it all away. I prefer the cold, blowing snow, myself: it keeps people away so I can play with the books. (Except for the ones who drive up to the dock and honk their horns until I come out and unload their books. But I don’t call those gentry “people”. Never mind what I do call ‘em, raspberry pancake.)

Anyway, I have the tiniest touch of spring fever, so this is a mere collection of odds and ends of what’s been coming in these days.

Our first signed baseball turned up, and, suitably for us, since we must cater to all kinds, it is signed by a man who played for both the Cubs and the White Sox. I was kinda hoping for, oh, Lou Gehrig or Big Ed Delehanty, but you can’t expect a home run on the first pitch, I suppose.

We also had our first donation of a set of controls for an electric blanket. I shall try this on eBay for it is a genuine antique, from Sunbeam, a real piece of Americana from the age before Snuggies. Anyway, that’s what I’ll say in the listing.

A kind soul dropped off what WOULD have been about $6,000 worth of rare books…if any of the covers had still been attached. One books had no covers at all, and a lovely three volume set at least had all of its covers WITH the volumes they used to be attached to. The most valuable book in the lot looked as if it had been dropped about six times: all the pages were loose, the backstrap was torn, and both covers were detached. But other than that, it looks great. (See the phrase “Else Fine” in the Uncle Blogsy Dictionary.)

We’ve had a new kind of box! Nobody has ever donated books in boxes from frozen pizza before. No, they weren’t all long, thin books: I mean those cardboard cartons that are used to ship pizzas to the store. I haven’t decided how I feel about these. They do not have holes in the bottom, but they are rather lo-o-o-ong. (You fit two stacks of 20 inch pizzas next to each other, and you’ll need a long box.

For the second time in our history, somebody has given us a gold coin. I sell those on eBay, kidney bean flan. If I could get someone to agree to buy it at the Book Fair and then walk into the lobby and drop it into the cash donation box, I might give it some thought. But such things are mighty portable, and as Lex Luthor once said, “It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s just that I don’t trust you.”

We have been given someone’s collection of free samples of granola bars handed out on street corners in Chicago over the past three years. I am thinking of asking the Chicago History Museum if it would like this collection. I think I know the answer already.

And autographs: we’ve got Mike Ditka again, and Richard M. Daley (we had his dad’s autograph once, but never his until now), and Louise Erdrich, we have a signed copy of Ralph Nader’s science fiction novel. I thought I might have Ron Santo, too, but it turns out to be another Ron. Well, you can’t expect a Home Ron on the first pitch, I suppose.

I THINK it’s spring fever I have a touch of. 

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